Archive for the ‘Shared Thoughts’ Category

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Part 6

NOTE: The above are all grouped together simply for downloading without having to scroll down to them all.

Part 1

Do you know why Paul untiringly prayed for the church?

“For this cause do I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, and that by being rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to fully know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you all might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to that power that works in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
(Ephesians 3, verses 14 thru 21)

Introduction to Chapter 20

Almost 2000 years ago the Apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle to Timothy that it was not “Without controversy, [for] great is the mystery of godliness…” Well, without a doubt that statement remains every bit as true today as it was the day Paul wrote it.

But how many believers today even know what this “mystery of godliness” is? Perhaps a quick look at the scripture Paul wrote will help to stir up our hunger for truth, understanding, and righteousness.

1st Timothy 3:16 – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Clearly, this mystery pertains to the fact that Jesus Christ was in truth God manifested in the flesh. But, if we want to glean all we can from these nuggets of golden truths that Paul has presented here, we must not lose focus of all that Paul is saying in this verse which applies directly to Jesus Christ, and those actions and events which he lists which transpired due to His incarnation. For not only is it true that “God was manifest in the flesh,” for Paul continues to affirm these other truths that “[God was also] justified in the Spirit, [God was] seen of angels [while manifested in the flesh, and therein He], preached unto the Gentiles, [whereby God was] believed on in the world, [and in the end, God was] received up into glory.

These truths here are the purpose and heart of this chapter.  For I wish to remind you that God’s inspired Word encourages us to learn that “Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore, get wisdom, and with all your getting, get understanding,” (Proverbs 4:7). For with the Lord is wisdom and knowledge, and by Him comes understanding. Consequently, if we are so instructed to “get understanding,” then surely understanding is available to all for the getting. But just like that great treasure which when a man found it hid in a field, and then went and sold all that he had to buy the field, and the same with the pearl of great price, understanding being a great treasure must be purchased with diligent asking, seeking, and knocking upon the door of heaven. But for all that so ask in faith with persistent seeking and diligence, we have the sure promise that God is in truth a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

But, what is this wisdom? Certainly, it is not the vain wisdom of this world, but that which alone comes from God and quickens the spirit of man, and makes him alive unto God.

1st Corinthians 3:18 – Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

If the beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding, then it might be said that the wisest thing anyone could set their heart to do is to seek both knowledge and understanding of God. For if there is a God, and be assured that there is, it becomes incumbent upon all of us to seek Him out and to discover how we might not only get along with Him, but please Him as well.

Knowledge is basically an awareness of unalterable truths of reality that pertain to, and are divided among the areas of intellectual perceptiveness, specifically; who, what, and where; while wisdom primarily rests within a sense of application as to when and how; but understanding is having a firm mental grasp of perceiving the “why,” to the point these things becomes a motivation and is exercised in faith and expectation. It might be related this way-

  • Knowledge is the foundation for faith.
  • Wisdom is the application of faith
  • Understanding is the hope and motive which turns faith into faithfulness.

Such is why the author of Hebrews stated that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Hebrews 11:1). Accordingly, it is our understanding of the things of God that enables us to be faithful and to be wholly transformed into the overcomers Jesus Christ has called us to be. For consider these words of Peter –

2nd Peter 1:2 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And thus, through Peter’s words above, we have introduced “grace” into our subject, and yes, it is amazing grace. But do people really understand God’s gift of grace? This is critical for those professing Christianity. Because, if a believer fails to understand the purpose and workings of God’s grace, then it is almost certain they will fall short of allowing it to accomplish all that God intended it to in their life.

Hebrews 4:1 – Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being given to us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith [or faithfulness] in them that heard it.

I know if you are reading this book, that surely you have already heard that it is “by grace you are saved.” But again, I will remind you of God’s bemoaning cry that, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Yet be warned, we can do nothing of or for ourselves, for it is only by God’s grace that we could even hope to have ears to hear the wisdom that the Spirit of God is persistently trying to share with us. Nevertheless, there is a necessity for us to be listening, as well as a willingness to respond to what the Holy Spirit is instructing must be done if one is to escape the wrath that will come upon all those who ignorantly or slothfully choose to remain in their sins.

People tend to forget, or perhaps willfully ignore, that in Jesus speaking the admonitions to all the saints in the Seven Churches of Revelation, how He repeatedly stressed that all those wonderful promises He was making were only for the “overcomers,” those who had “ears to hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.”

Luke 21:36 – Watch you therefore and pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man.

The Necessity of Faith

I start this chapter first with addressing the necessity of faith in our lives, because it doesn’t matter how much you know if it hasn’t built up a holy saving faith in you, because, “ without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6 ).

I so love this verse, though often I quote it as an exhortation to others that “with faith” it is indeed absolutely possible “to please Him.” For God’s greatest delight is His being sought after by His creatures that they might truly “know” Him. It is evident in the scriptures that God has promised to reward us, and that means any of us, with understanding, if only we would but “diligently seek Him.” Yet, He has made no promises to the half-hearted seeker, and such is why we are forewarned that only by picking up our crosses and following Him can we truly succeed in our pursuits of Him, and have confidence in His grace to enable us to fulfill His calling for us to perfect our personal holiness.

2nd Corinthians 7:1 – Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

For those who would by faith obey these mandates; to come to God, to please Him, and to perfect holiness, did Jesus say it would be given them “to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.”

Mark 4:9 – And He said unto them, He that has ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And when He was alone, they that were with the twelve about Him asked of Him the meaning of the parable. 11 And He said unto them, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are spoken in parables.”

Those who truly desire “to know” this mystery, and not merely in a hollow doctrinal sense, will prove their heart’s desire by determinedly seeking after it. For again do not deceive yourself, those who are given to complacency or slothfulness, the scriptures offer them no hope that they should “find” what they are only half-heartedly willing to “seek” after. One must persistently “knock” as it were, and faithfully invest their time and energy in dedicated prayers and studies if the door of understanding is to be permitted to be “opened” unto them.

Matthew 7:7 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened.

But guard your hearts and do not think your labors alone will be sufficient in their own merit, or your own intellectual strength is enough to break through the partition of ignorance into divine understanding. For our Savior said it was only to His disciples that “It is given to know” these things. Therefore, you must not fail to recognize the importance of your coming under His discipline if you are truly aspiring to be His disciple.

Deuteronomy 4:29 – But if …you shall seek the LORD your God, then you shall find Him, when you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the LORD your God, and will be obedient unto His voice; 31 (For the LORD your God is a merciful God;) then He will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore unto them.

Dear reader, the greatest thing you will ever “find” and “know” is God Himself. Even after Paul’s great conversion and after years of ministry, well surpassing the other apostles in his labor, travels, ministries, and revelations, his greatest motivation and desire was succinctly expressed in his confession that his only mission was “That I might know Him.”

Philippians 3:8 – Yea doubtless, I count all things as lost for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them as dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, and be made conformable unto His death. 11 So that if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 

Before his conversion, the Apostle Paul was without a doubt one of the most educated men of his time apart from his mentor. For he had sat “at the feet of Gamaliel, and was taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers,” (Acts 22:3). However, with all his knowledge, Paul was still unable to really know God. After his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul humbly withdrew himself for years to reexamine all he had previously and vigilantly held to be true.

How much more do we then need to humble ourselves? And how much more do we then need to acknowledge the minuteness of our own scriptural knowledge and understanding? For we truly have no hope of truly being enlightened without the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit who resists the proud. For through his conversion the Apostle Paul discovered that nothing had been more blinding in his life, or a greater hindrance to his truly serving God and receiving the truth, than that “light” he once proudly thought himself to have firmly possessed.

I Corinthians 8:2 – And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

Likewise, such vain religious over-confidence continues to thrive unrestrainedly in Christendom today; making some professors of Christ the most arrogant and prideful men alive. Yet, more often than not, their knowledge often proves to be nothing but empty theoretical strongholds that cause them to bunker down, throw up their shields, and spitefully take up arms against brothers of the faith. Often, it is with ridicule and closed-mindedness that they defend their long held and cherished historic positions and creeds. For when men have truly spiritually awakened, it is because they have been confronted with the reality that they needed to humble themselves, and so we always need to be willing to consider that what we have come to believe may not be correct or complete.

We must never forget that for success in seeking the truth, our efforts must be coupled with a sincere intention and readiness to yield ourselves wholly to the revelation of God’s will. Otherwise, we have no right or grounds to expect to receive anything from God. For any man that loves his church, creed, ministry, job, retirement plan, or family more than he loves the Lord and the truth, then his own heart will remain to be his greatest hindrance.

James 1:5 – If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and withholds it not; and it shall be given him. 6 But only let him ask in faith, with nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 For a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Willful sin in our lives creates an impassable obstacle to our coming to a liberating knowledge of the truth. It is only when “our hearts condemn us not” of loving sin, and are not willfully hiding it in our hearts, that we can possess true “confidence” toward God and have the faith and assurance that “whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight,” (1st John 3:21, 22).

For even if we may not fully understand the will of God, our consciences nonetheless still have an inclination of right and wrong that works toward our honoring or dishonoring God. For though not all may have come to possess that strong faith that comes only through routine study of God’s word and the application thereof, they still possess “a measure of faith” whereby they can seek and please God.

Romans 14:5 – One person esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Therefore let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 For he that regards the day, regards it unto the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. Likewise, he that eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and he too gives God thanks… 22 Therefore, do you have faith? Then have it to yourself before God, for happy is he that is not condemning himself in that thing which he does.

Part 2

The Mystery of Godliness, God was Manifested in the Flesh

1st Timothy 3:16 – For without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

We start this chapter with recognizing that the disclosure of divine truth, concerning God’s person to humanity, has been a steady, incremental process, as is witnessed by the revelation of God’s many names throughout time being revealed through the prophets. The following is but a brief list taken from over 900 name variations assigned to God in scripture.

  • Adonai: Lord, Master
  • Elohim: God
  • El Elyon: The Most High God
  • El Olam: The Everlasting God
  • El Shaddai: Lord God Almighty
  • Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem: The Lord Who Sanctifies You
  • Jehovah Nissi: The Lord My Banner
  • Jehovah-Raah: The Lord My Shepherd
  • Jehovah Rapha: The Lord That Heals
  • Jehovah Sabaoth: The Lord of Hosts
  • Jehovah Shalom: The Lord Is Peace
  • Jehovah Shammah: The Lord Is There
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness
  • Qanna: Jealous
  • Yahweh: Lord, Jehovah

By these, we can see how throughout biblical history the revelation of God’s person, as well as His truths, have been established one tidbit at a time; as holy men of old often prophesied in parts, “here a little” and then another time, perhaps even another prophet, “there a little.” This method of enlightenment is in exact accordance with what the bible teaches us, for Paul tells us that even at our best, we all “know in part, and we prophesy in part,” (I Corinthians 13:9).

Isaiah 28:9 – Whom shall He teach knowledge? and to whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be learned upon precept, precept upon precept; and line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

Dear reader, I want you to believe me when I tell you that God is truly desirous to teach anyone who is both old enough and willing to learn. We need not be old or educated, simply willing to be taught. For God delights in teaching sinners in His ways.

Psalm 25:8 – Good and upright is the LORD; therefore, He will teach sinners in the way. 9 The meek He will guide in judgment; for the meek He will teach His way.

However, as the verse above implies, we must learn to quiet ourselves before the Lord and to patiently wait on Him in His word, for it is often only with a little here and there, with perhaps a little more added later, that the Holy Spirit graciously begins to build and draw parts of scripture together with His illuminating touch. For only He can cause each of these fragments of truth to lend their individual lights together so as to provide us with wonderful insight into what would otherwise remain veiled truths in scripture. For by this principle comes forth a brilliant witness to the glory of God in Christ Jesus from our selected verse, which alone could otherwise be a puzzling piece of scripture.

1st Timothy 3:16 – For without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Paul stresses in this verse that undeniably there exists a great mystery concerning godliness, an essential theme of the Gospel. For the Gospel is not just about Jesus dying on the cross to reconcile sinners unto God, it is much, much more than that.

Romans 5:8 – But God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more now, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.

Much more than just being reconciled to God, something many believers limit to a one-time event of “accepting Jesus” as their savior, Paul tells us “we shall be saved by His life.” It is the life of Christ within men that saves them, not His death upon the cross; such is why Jesus came “confirming the covenant” of the resurrection, giving undisputable proof that what God has promised He can deliver.

Acts 1:2 – Until the day in which He was taken up, and after through the Holy Ghost He had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen: 3 To whom He did also show Himself alive after His passion by many undeniable proofs, having been seen of them forty days, and speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

What I have said about our being reconciled by His death, yet saved by His life, is not in any way to minimize Jesus’ death; for it was absolutely necessary in order to appease the demands of God’s righteous judgment, for “the wages of sin is death.” Only by the death of Jesus Christ could anyone hope to be reconciled to God, whereby God can enable us through faith to be born again and quicken by His word: that through the empowering of His Holy Spirit we might be brought “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

1st Peter 1:21 – Who by Him you now believe in God, Who raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see then that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, even by the word of God, which lives and abides forever.

Ephesians 4:7 – But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore He says, “When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men…” 11 And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 And this He did for the perfecting of the saints, and for the work of the ministry, even for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, and that unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That no longer should we be as children, being tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cleverness of men, and their cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 Therefore speak the truth in love, you might grow up into Him in all things which is the head, even Christ.

God is not only holy, but He alone is the very wellspring of holiness, and like all things apart from Him, holiness cannot exist. For that reason, God has commanded all His creatures to be holy; which can only be achieved by their giving themselves wholly unto Him at all times, and to His will in all things.

Leviticus 20:6 – And the soul that seeks after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. 7 Therefore sanctify yourselves and be you holy: for I am the LORD your God.

2nd Peter 1:13 – Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, and be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 Behaving as obedient children, not conducting yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as He which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.

Because holiness is inseparable from God, it is a fundamental aspect of godliness. As a matter of fact, the Greek word which was translated “godliness” here in 1st Timothy was translated “holiness” in the place it was first used in scripture. For holiness is Godlikeness.

Acts 3:12 – And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, You men of Israel, why marvel you at this? or why do you look so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

However, because “great is the mystery of godliness,” history proves mankind has been given to endless debates and confusion about the man Jesus Christ. It seems men cannot agree as to the purpose of His incarnation and the truth regarding His birth, death, and resurrection; and most importantly the truth concerning His deity. Many of these debates and illusions were birthed out of a devilish attempt to conceal the fact that God was indeed “justified in the spirit” when He as a man was “seen of the angels.”

1st Timothy 3:16 – For without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, [God was] justified in the spirit, [God was] seen of angels, [God had] preached unto the Gentiles, [God was] believed on in the world, [God was] received up into glory.

The reason I have “God was justified in the spirit” emphasized in bold print and brackets, is because many people often overlook it and fail to carry the subject matter through to its end; that “God was” in the person of Jesus Christ redeeming the world unto Himself.

2nd Corinthians 5:18 – And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 In which it was God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and unto us has He committed this word of reconciliation

Regardless of what Paul clearly wrote to Timothy and the church in Corinth, most Christians in our day and age fail to pause and focus on that fundamental part of the verse, that “God was…justified in the spirit.” Over the years I have listened to various people discuss how God was “manifested in the flesh,” and have listened to sermons using this verse being preached, only to hear preacher after preacher simply read over that part as if it were nothing more than some sort of King James jargon put there merely as some spiritual poetic-word-filler. But it’s not. It’s an extremely important confirmation to what has regrettably become a little known and taught part of the Christian faith. Sadly, I have only heard one other preacher expound on this “justified in the Spirit” aspect and he has passed on.

Part of the problem is the church has failed to be faithful stewards of the Gospel and to assertively preach the absolute deity of Jesus, not only as the prophesied “son of God” but as the scripture states, very God Himself manifested in the flesh. This in part is because many ministers nowadays no longer believe it themselves, which can only be attributed to the clever working of the adversary, who actually does not mind men being religious. However, he hates it when they are lovers of Christ and faithful proclaimers of this truth. For by it the devil, with all the fallen powers of darkness, were openly defeated by Jesus Christ willingly dying upon a cross.

Colossians 2:15 – And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

2nd Corinthians 4:2 – But having renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, and not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth do we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 For if our gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost: 4 To those whom the god of this world has blinded their minds which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For what we preach is not about ourselves, but about Christ Jesus the Lord; and we are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, giving light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Another Jesus and Another Gospel

2nd Corinthians 11:4 – For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you had not received, or another gospel, which you had not accepted, you might well bear with him [who brought the gospel unto you]. 5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

Despite Paul’s warning to the Corinth church that some would come “preaching another Jesus… [and] another gospel,” most professing Christians are absolutely positive that they know who Jesus is. Consequently, they never even consider scripturally proving that their “Jesus” is the same one Paul preached about. However, in light of Paul’s warning of “another Jesus,” everyone would do well to examine their “Jesus” in the light of the “holy scriptures” while earnestly seeking the help of the Holy Spirit “to make them wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus,” (2nd Timothy 3:15).

Truly, Jesus is rightly called the “son of God,” even the “only begotten Son of God.” However, the word “son” was not intended to suggest He would be a descendant of God, or an offspring such as we have offspring, for our offspring have their beginnings from their birth, while Jesus Christ was likened to Melchizedek as without a beginning nor an end.

Hebrews 7:1 – For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, and priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; is first by interpretation the King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is the King of peace; 3 Being without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abides a priest continually.

Consequently, from the very beginning the word “son,” which was spoken in reference to Jesus Christ, was intended to be prophetic of the child’s gender which God promised would be born, and in truth He was indeed born of flesh and blood. But back when Adam chose to sin in the garden, when the Gospel first went forth as God’s promise that a deliverer would come, He stated that a “seed” would be raised up through the woman; and that “seed” would bruise the head of the serpent, (the devil), and the serpent would “bruise HIS heel” (Genesis 3:15). And so was it prophesied at the first sin that a “man child” would be born.

Jesus Christ is that “seed” and “man child,” and a “son” that could only have been of God, for as foretold the child would be born of a virgin; making Him the prophetic “Son of God.” Nevertheless, while this child’s conception was entirely the predetermined plan and accomplishment of God, men would still call him a “son of man,” (although no earthly man took part in His conception). For the phrase “son of man” is merely a Jewish or biblical expression that is intended to testify of one’s humanity, as it is used by God and the angels toward Ezekiel ninety-three times. With Christ, “Son of man” testifies of His humanity; that He in fact was “born” a man.

Hebrews 2:14 – For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 so as to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore, out of necessity He chose in all things to be made like unto His brethren, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,  and so make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Just as Isaiah foretold, “a virgin” conceived and brought forth that prophetic “seed” that would “bruise the head of the serpent.” As both Isaiah prophesied and the angel Gabriel told Mary, this child would be called “Immanuel… which being interpreted is, God-with-us.”

Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:18 – Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, and before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was of the mind to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Consider a few more scriptures;

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 43:10 – You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He [the prophesied child to come]. 11 Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. For I, even I am the Lord; and besides Me there is no savior… 15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.

Now compare the above verses with these.

 John 8:23 – And He said unto them, You are from beneath; and I am from above: you are of this world; but I am not of this world. 24 I say therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am He, then shall you die in your sins. 25 Then said they unto Him, “Who are you?” And Jesus said unto them, “Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: for He that sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.” 27 Howbeit, they understood not that He spoke to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father has taught Me, so speak I these things.

John 13:19 – Now I tell you before it comes, that when it is comes to pass you may believe that I am He.

John 18:4 – Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth and said unto them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus says unto them, “I am He.” And Judas also, which betrayed Him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as He had said unto them “I am He,” they went backward and fell to the ground. 7 Then asked He them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He: if therefore you seek Me, then let these go their way.” 9 So that the saying which He spoke might be fulfilled,  “Father, of them which You gave Me have I lost none.”

In Jesus alone do we see the above verses fulfilled, for as Paul stated, Jesus was God “manifested in the flesh.” Amazingly, in His finite fleshly form as a “son of man,” God’s boundless love and commitment was revealed for all heaven and earth to see. For His incarnation made it possible for both men and angels to witness His unselfish character, through the life and death of the man Jesus. Oh, what wondrous thing is this? “God in Christ” was reconciling “the world unto Himself [and] not imputing their trespasses unto them.”

2nd Corinthians 5:18 – And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by [the man] Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 Of which it was God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and He has committed unto us this word of reconciliation.

Through the power and wisdom of His incarnation, God has revealed “unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of time He might gather together in one ALL things in Christ, both which are in heaven [the angels], and which are on earth [mankind]; even in Him [Jesus]” (Ephesians 1:9, 10).

The Greek word, ana-kephalaiomai, which in the above verse was translated “gather together in one,” is only used twice in scriptures. Being a compound word, it proves to be a very interesting word, for the first part, ana, was used 16 times in scripture being variously translated as; among, apiece, between, by, each, every, every man, in the midst, through, and also as the number two.

The second part of the word, kephalaioo, actually means; to strike on the head: as a wound in the head, and was so used but once in scripture in the following verse.

Mark 12:4 – And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they threw stones and so wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. 

That second part, kephalaioo, is of the same origin as the Greek word kephalaion, which means; a principal thing, as in the main point; specially, an amount (of money):- to the end of – the sum, summed up.

Now both words have their origin from another Greek word, kephale, which simply means literally, or figuratively, the head. Thus, the original Greek compound word which was translated “gather together in one,” conveys the sense of bringing all things, or everyone, together in an comprehensive, precise, solidified, and unshakable sense. Kind of like when a person who has been greatly puzzled by a mystery suddenly gestures by tapping themselves on the side of their head and then excitedly says, “I got it – I got it! I understand it now!”

That is why the second place this Greek word was used in scripture it was translated with an English word to signify; know, grasp, understand & realize. Perhaps another phrase that might help convey the same concept is “Hitting the nail on the head” which is often used when something stated truly drives the point home with succinct clarity as seen below.

Romans 13:9 – For all this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended, ana-kephalaiomai, in this saying as, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

But not all men will embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or receive a love for the truth, and thus not all will be enabled to understand this mystery which was even hidden from the angels from the foundation of the world, whereby God was to be “manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit.”

2nd Thessalonians 2:10 – …because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

I Corinthians 1:23 – But we preach Christ crucified, which unto the Jews is a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, of both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Now we who believe do see both “the power… and the wisdom of God” in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we give “thanks unto the Father… Who has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness, and translated us unto the kingdom of His dear Son… Who is the image [or manifestation] of the invisible God… He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church: Who is The Beginning, the Firstborn from the Dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him [that man child] should all fullness [of The Mighty God] dwell; and having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him He reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven,” (Colossians 1:12-20).

It was necessary, in order for Jesus to qualify as the prophetic “Christ,” and to fulfill all prophecy, to simultaneously be both God and Man. For if Jesus were not fully God and fully man, He could not be what He claims to be in Revelation 22:16, both “the root and offspring of David.” As the “root of David” we see Jesus Christ as “The Everlasting Father,” and as the “offspring of David” we see Him as the “man child” or “son” promised at the fall of Adam.

Jesus is not merely some subservient offspring of “Father God.” No, in spite of how hard it is for some to believe, Jesus in His pure and ultimate essence is the Father and The Mighty God. This is not some foolish idea of my own imagination, rather what the very word of God plainly declares.

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Perhaps the most common stumbling block for people concerning Jesus’ deity is an apparent inability to answer the question, “How can Jesus be the Mighty God and Everlasting Father and yet still be seen in scripture praying to the Father?”

That is both an honest and great question that has perplexed many. Nevertheless, Isaiah speaking under the unction of the Holy Spirit clearly stated that the “Prince of Peace” would be none other than “The Everlasting Father,” or as some would assert “the Father of Eternity.” Indeed, it is a great mystery to the finite minds of men and angels, but just because something is a mystery does not make it impossible. For a mystery is simply proof of ignorance: a lack of knowledge and understanding.

A good guideline when seeking to understand Christ, the God/man, is to remember that in His pure essence God “is a spirit,” which by Jesus’ own words we know that “a spirit has not flesh and bones.” Therefore, God in His pure essence as a spirit is not limited to a finite visible form, for being omnipresent, He is everywhere all the time, throughout time, at the same time – past, present, future. Therefore Jesus, while locked in time and space by His human flesh, through the medium of prayer communed with His Omnipresent Spirit, “the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity.”

John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Luke 24:36 – And as they spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said unto them, “Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have.”

Isaiah 57:15 – For thus says the High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Part 3

Outside the Box to Infinity and Beyond

Now I would like to take you as it were, outside the box of rational reasoning, and have you seriously think about something for a moment. First how your current existence is that of a finite creature who dwells within the dimensions of space, and therefore have an experiential awareness of the present things while living on the razor edge of this moment which is ever moving through time, even as a wave of the ocean does, ever moving towards the end of the boundary of your current life. Next, consider if you could by whatever means necessary to make it possible, either by supernatural powers or through a clever mechanism, that if you could only go back in time for even one minute, how you would then be able to both see and be with yourself. You could walk into the room you’re in now and actually take a seat across from yourself and carry on a conversation, as you from the future could then tell yourself in the past exactly what future events are going to unfold, or warn yourself and say “Stop, don’t even think what he is asking you to consider!”

Of course, that line of reasoning can open a whole can of worms about how if you change the past, then you’ll inadvertently change the future, which then takes us into the whole Butterfly Effect rational, which is not my intent. Nonetheless, and yet still seriously, I present all this to you simply to ask you that if you could escape the boundaries of progressive linear time and go backwards to another time and space and be with yourself, would that mean you are two people? Certainly, at that very moment, it would seem as if there were in fact two of you. Nevertheless, in reality you are still only one person – one in heart and one in mind. But yet having escaped the parameters of time by our limited experiential logic and narrow senses, you certainly would at that moment appear as two, since both are momentarily being seen in one place at the same time.

It would be the unique ability to escape time that would give you the ability to be in two places at the same time. You, from a distant place or future time could literally go and counsel yourself as to what is occurring elsewhere, or even that which is yet to come to pass. Interesting concept, right?

Yet this is literally what Jesus expressed to Nicodemus, “No man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven,” (John 3:13). Jesus was standing right there with Nicodemus affirming to him that even at that very moment He “is in heaven.” It is because of this unique aspect of God’s omnipresence that He foreknew those who “should be saved” even from the very foundations of the world.

Revelations 17:8 – The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend out of the abyss and go into perdition. And those dwelling on the earth will marvel, those whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Isaiah 41:4 – Who has performed and done it, Calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD am the first, and with the last am I He.

Isaiah 46:9 – Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done. Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’

Isaiah 48:3 – “I have declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. 5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass, I proclaimed it to you…

At Athens, the Apostle Paul encouraged the men there to “seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our very being,” (Acts 17:27, 28).

Likewise, in Psalm 139, David reasons with God saying, “Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there. And if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Your hand lead me and Your right hand will hold me,” (Verses 7-10).

Consider once again this greatness of God’s omnipresence in His words to Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 23:24 – “Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him? says the LORD. Do I not fill the heavens and earth? says the LORD.

Thus, we can see the omnipresence of the “eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God.” Now consider the Apostle John’s words as he explains the great relationship we can have with the Father and Christ if “we walk in the light.”

1st John 1:3 – That which we have seen and heard have we declared unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we write these things to you so that your joy may be full. 5 For this is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 So if we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

This walking “in the light” is more personal and intimate than that which Paul spoke of to the men at Athens about how all men live and move in Him and have their very being. This “in” of which the Apostle John speaks is even much more than some hyper-spiritual concept concerning our “Christian position” in Christ. For this “in the light” speaks of the intimate dwelling and communion all believers ought to have by faith through their walking and living in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus. For Christ is the Light of the world, and now the lives we live ought to be by the very faith of the Son of God who loves us and dwells in us.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me. For that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself on my behalf.

I stress this not to shame anyone who may realize they are lacking this personal familiarity with God, but rather to motivate and to stir up both your faith and faithfulness; for this intimacy is only possible for those who have made a conscious resolve to no longer “walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; 4 so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Surely, we all want “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” to make us “free from the law of sin and death.” But do we really understand who this “Spirit” is? It is the “Spirit of Christ” of course; and is not He who we want to be intimately familiar with? And do we recognize Paul is cautioning us that we must “mind” Him and “walk after” Him if “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us?” Nevertheless, many Christians go about their lives as if they don’t believe Paul when he admonishes us how “to be carnally minded is death; but to be SPIRITually minded is life and peace.”

Romans 8:9 – But you are not in the flesh, but in the SPIRIT, if so be that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwells in you. For if any man has not the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he is none of His.

Furthermore, this Spirit of Christ is none other than the Holy Spirit. But due to “the MYSTERY of Christ” a common mistake many believers make is they perceive the phrase “Holy Spirit” to be a proper name, when in actually it is a precise description of God. He’s holy and in all integrity of essence is a spirit, invisible like the wind or our breath, yet likewise detectable and often easily felt and sensed. For though we can’t see the wind, we can often see it moving the trees and feel it on our bodies. In fact, the Greek word translated spirit actually comes from another Greek word which means breath or wind. Therefore, God alone can properly be called a “Holy Spirit.”

Before we continue let’s look at some more scriptures referencing this “mystery.”

Romans 16:25 – Now to Him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.

1st Corinthians 2:7 – But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.

Ephesians 3:3 – How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).

Colossians 2:2 – That their hearts might be comforted, and be knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, and to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, of the Father and of Christ.

Colossians 4:3 – Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.

1st Timothy 3:16 – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

God Spoke

Let’s look at three scriptures that together help to unwrap this mystery a little further and can provide vantage points from which one might gain a greater perspective and appreciation for the wisdom, power and love which God offers to all men through Christ Jesus the Lord.

Hebrews 1:1 – God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholds all things by the power of His word. Who when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Note the words in bold type, “God, spoke, by the prophets, by His Son.” Let’s continue.

2nd Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Here we see “God” who “spoke, by the prophets” in Hebrews 1:1-2 speaking by “holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Same God, same prophets, same Spirit, all recorded in God’s Holy Scripture.

Again, let’s continue;

1st Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

These verses all say the same thing, God has spoken through men: for the “prophets” through which “God… spoke” as they “were moved by the Holy Ghost,” spoke that which “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.” Just as surely the Holy Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, it was God Himself, even Emmanuel, who was in this man-child called Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:23 – Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

2nd Corinthians 5:18 – And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that it was God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2nd Corinthians 3:17 – Now the Lord [Jesus] is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.

In light of all these scriptures I would hope all could agree that when the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ, that it is speaking of the same Spirit. For scripture tells us there is only “one Spirit.”

Ephesians 4:3 – Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 For there is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; 5 Likewise one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

1st Corinthians 12:11 – But all these works that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. 12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; for we all have been made to drink into one Spirit.

Since by the word of God we know there is only “one Spirit,” when Paul states that God was “justified in the Spirit,” it should be understood that it was the Holy Spirit of the “eternal, immortal, invisible, the ONLY wise God” Almighty that was being “manifested in the flesh” of the man Jesus.

1st Timothy 1:17 – Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1st Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Galatians 3:20 – Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Though this mystery was hidden from the foundation of the world, God still put forth a riddle to us in the Book of Proverbs which He will sooner or later require everyone to answer.

Proverbs 30:4 – Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fist? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name? And what is His Son’s name, if you can tell?

This riddle is one that men all over the world have long sought to answer. And in their search for an answer, neither their own imagination, nor the adversary has failed to provide a wide array of doctrines to select from. Such is why Jesus asked a similar question of His disciples, so don’t think that He will not ask the same of you…

Luke 9:18 – And it came to pass, as He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him: and He asked them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” 19 They answering said, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.” 20 Then asked He of them, “But who do you say that I am?”

We cannot afford to be wrong in our response, we must “know in whom” we believe. Fortunately, He who has asked the question is also willing to provide the answer to it.

Isaiah 43:10 – You are my witnesses, says the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. 11 I even I am the LORD; and besides Me there is no savior.

1st Timothy 4:10 – For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.

2nd Timothy 1:8 – Be you not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be you partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who has saved us and called us with an holy calling. Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 10 Which is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, and Who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For which cause do I also suffer these things: nevertheless, I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

Titus 1:1 – Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3 And has in due times manifested His word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, my son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

Titus 2:10 – Not stealing, but rather showing all good faith, so that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, 13 while looking for the blessed hope, even the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works.

Titus 3:4 – But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy has He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and through the renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I would that you affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. For these things are good and profitable unto men.

Isaiah 43:12 – “I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore, you are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “That I am God. 13 Yea, before the day was, I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand: and I will work, and who shall prevent it? 14 For thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel… 15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”

John 12:14 – And finding a young donkey, Jesus sat on it; as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King comes sitting on the foal of an ass.”

John 10:27 – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. 29 My Father, which gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.” 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 So Jesus asked them, “Many good works have I showed you from My Father; for which of those works do you stone Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we stone You not; but for blasphemy; because You being a man are making Yourself to be God.”

We have been warned to “believe not every spirit,” be it of man or angel, and are instructed to “try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” So, here’s how the scriptures say we should try the spirits that we might know those that are of God.

1st John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: for this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world.

Now take a moment and consider the lasting effect of Jesus Christ upon humanity. For really, who but an ignorant person or a lying fool would deny that a man named “Jesus” ever existed? Even historians who do not subscribe to the beliefs of Christianity readily acknowledge Jesus’ existence. Likewise, some religions even opposed to the Christian faith still acknowledge that historically there was a man named Jesus who claimed to be the Christ; some even recognizing Him as a prophet of sorts. Due to the overwhelming evidence, any person with a measurable and honest intellect must acknowledge that not only did such a man “come in the flesh,” but that He was crucified in the flesh as well. However, these two facts are not what the Apostle John was talking about.

The spirit of antichrist is not “anti-Jesus came in the flesh,” nor is it “anti-Jesus the subservient offspring of God come in the flesh,” and one more equally amazing, nor is the spirit of antichrist “anti-god.” Quite to the contrary to many people’s disbelief, the Bible tells us this spirit of antichrist is really “pro-god.” It just is not “pro the true and living God.” We see this in the Bible in reference to “that man of sin” who will exalt himself “so that he AS GOD sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God,” (2nd Thessalonians 2:2, 4). Yet this “he” could not do if people truly knew, understood, and comprehended what it truly means that Jesus Christ was God. Therefore, the nature of the spirit of antichrist is to be anti-truth, meaning “Anti-Jesus Christ, the Almighty God our Savior come in the flesh.”

This is why Jesus said to “Take heed that no man deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying I am the Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4, 5). These are men who will acknowledge both the life and death of Jesus, and openly admit that He was the foretold and promised deliverer that would come, a great prophet, and even the Christ. Yet their definition of “the Christ” is contrary to that of God’s.

This is also why countless so-called Christian leaders are nowadays rejecting the scriptural evidence that Jesus Christ was “The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father” come in the flesh, (Isaiah 9:6). For with one breath, they acknowledge that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace,” while with the next they boldly declare He is not the Everlasting Father.

2nd John 7 – This is a deceiver and an antichrist. For whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ has not God… 9 But he who abides in the doctrine of Christ, has both the [Everlasting] Father and the Son.

Notice the singularity of the word “doctrine” in 2nd John 9. It is singular because John was not referring to the many doctrines, or teachings, which were given to us through Jesus’ earthly ministry. No, John was referring to that one singular doctrine which is the foundation of true Christianity. It is the teaching concerning “Who is Jesus Christ.” The Bible refers to this teaching as the “Doctrine of Christ” and God will not permit this doctrine to be changed; and those who do so will certainly suffer severe and eternal consequences. Consequently, the Apostle John warned us that “if any come unto you and bring not this doctrine,” but comes with a different teaching of whom Christ is,  then “receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that bids him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds,” (2nd John 10, 11).

1st John 2:21 – Who is a liar but he that denies Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denies the Father and the Son [are one God]. 22 Whosoever denies the [Isaiah 9:6] Son, the same has not the [Isaiah 9:6 Everlasting] Father: but he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on His shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The Apostle John tells us that he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also, because in spirit “They” are the same. This truth is the reason Jesus cried out to the multitude around Him saying, “He who sees Me sees Him who sent Me,” and then two chapters later tells Phillip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” He was not speaking of their being able to see Him standing there in front of them, but rather by “seeing” Jesus is referencing the ability to discern Him for who He truly was. This is also why Jesus told Peter that he was blessed, for the eye of his flesh did not give him this understanding that Jesus was the Christ, rather it was by a revelation given him of the Father. For though two separate Greek words were used that were translated see and seen, both words have also been translated as “perceive” elsewhere in scripture.

John 4:19 – Then the woman said unto him, Sir, I perceive <theoreo> that You are a prophet.

John 12:44 – But Jesus cried out and said, He who believes on Me does not believe on Me but on Him who sent Me. 45 For he who sees <theoreo> Me sees <theoreo> Him who sent Me.

Acts 8:23 – For I perceive <horao> that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.

John 14:9 Jesus said to him, Have I been with you such a long time and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen <horao> Me has seen <horao> the Father. So how do you say, Show us the Father?

Those verses above, and many more, are why Paul told the Corinthians that if this truth is hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost, because the very glory of God is to be discern in the very face of Jesus Christ.

2nd Corinthians 4:3 – But if our gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; for we are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give unto you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:1 – God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 for He being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and who upholds all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

These truths which I have presented thus far are the foundation of the Doctrine of Christ, and the very heart of the Gospel. It is upon this “rock” that the true church of Jesus Christ was founded. Therefore, if a person is ignorant, or disbelieving of this truth, it is because they are blind to the true light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and have likely embraced “another Jesus” and are believing in “another gospel” and following “another spirit.”

2nd Corinthians 11:4 – If indeed someone is coming to preach another Jesus, whom I did not preach, or you are receiving a Spirit other than you once received, or another gospel which you did not accept before, you would do well to bear with me. (Montgomery’s New Testament)

Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “For many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me you who were practicing lawlessness!’

Matthew 24:5 – For many will come in My name [the name of Jesus], saying, [or acknowledge] “I am Christ,” and [yet they] will deceive many.

Many preachers say that these are people who will come and profess to be the christ, and that is true, many such people have so come and deceived many. However, the word “christ” is not a name, rather to be “Christ” is to fulfill a prophesied and anointed position that only Jesus could fill, and such is why we stressed the importance that believers understand the Doctrine of Christ in order that they are not deceived by those who preach “another Jesus” thru “another gospel” and by “another spirit.”

Part 4

What was God Justified of?

At this point I think it would be suitable time to explore what the word “justified” means. The Greek word in 1st Timothy 3:16, which was translated “Justified,” is “dikaioo,” which comes from the root word “dikaios.” Let’s look at their definitions.

  • Dikaios – equitable (in character or act); by implication, innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): just, meet, right (righteous).
  • Dikaioo – to render, (show or regard as) just or innocent.

Merriam Webster defined justified as “to be shown just, right, and to have functioned in accord with good reason. To be freed from blame; declared guiltless; acquitted; absolved.” By these definitions we could easily say, “To be justified is to be vindicated of false accusations by revealed, proven, and witnessed (-seen and heard) facts.” If this is true, then what were the accusations of which God through His incarnation was vindicated of, and who made them?

Well, we need not look too long before we find the answer, for the very first accusation recorded in the Bible was against God. So, when and how did it happen? Well, one day Eve was in the garden when a serpent asked her, “Has God said you should not eat of every tree in the garden?” Eve’s reply was, “We may eat the fruit of every tree in the garden; except the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it lest you die.” And the serpent said unto Eve, “You shall not surely die: for God knows that in the day you eat it your eyes shall be open and you too shall be as gods, knowing good and evil,” (Genesis 3:1-24).

Here we see the devil, via the serpent, asserting that God was a liar by his saying, “You shall not surely die.” Satan further implied that the reason God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of the tree was because God was selfish, and did not want any other gods around, for “God knows… you too shall be as gods,” (Genesis 3:5).

For all intents and purposes, Satan accused God of being both a deceiver and a lover of self; and if God was selfish, then He must be a sinner as well. It was this arrogant manner of defiance, deceitfulness of sin, and blasphemy against God and His character that provoked Him to not spare those “angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment,” (2nd Peter 2:4).

For Satan and the other angels, who had been eyewitnesses of God’s majesty, there could be no forgiveness having committed such a blasphemous sin against God. For “Whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come,” (Matthew 10:25).

As Christians, we know Satan’s accusations are false, and in them we can see both his jealousy and extreme hatred which he has towards God. Interestingly, there are scriptures that may very well reveal to us that this incident in the garden might not be the first time Satan so accused God of these things, such as greedily hoarding the throne. This we’ll discover as we look deeper into the devil’s beginning.

The Devil’s Beginning

1st John3:8 – He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

When the Apostle John said, “The devil sinned from the beginning,” have you ever thought just what “beginning” was he referring to? Since we know that from the day that Lucifer was created, he was perfect in all his ways, this would have to be the beginning when his negative conversion occurred. So, let’s look at those texts of scripture in the Bible that offer us insight into his former state, and how temptation led to his fall.

Ezekiel 28:13 – You had been in Eden the garden of God; and every precious stone was given you for your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. 14 For you are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: and you were upon the holy mountain of God; of which you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you. 16 Yet, by the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore, I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, even from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 For your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, and you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: therefore I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.

Isaiah 14:12 – How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! For you are cut down to the ground, you who did weaken the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 and will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” 15 Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

To be forthright, there are some commentators who for some reason have rejected the notion that either of these two passages have anything to do with the fall of Lucifer. They assert Ezekiel’s prophecy was specifically speaking of the king of Tyrus, and only of the king of Tyrus. However, that perspective offers no clarity to certain points in the prophecy, as the king of Tyrus was never “in Eden the garden of God,” nor was he ever an “anointed cherub.” Certainly, it must be openly acknowledged as well that the king of Tyrus was born and not “created” as referenced in the prophecy.

Likewise, some regard Isaiah’s prophecy as solely an addressment of the sins of the king of Babylon. Yet Isaiah, as did Ezekiel, prophesied by the same Holy Spirit “unto men to their edification, and exhortation, and comfort,” (I Corinthians 14:3-5). To me it seems overwhelmingly obvious that these two prophecies do indeed focus pointedly upon these two kings, and that because they too, like Satan, exalted themselves beyond their appointed realm of power, purpose, and influence.

Thus, while those prophecies may indeed historically shed some light on these two kings’ personal sins, it is Satan’s sin and fall that becomes their eventual focal point; as if a spot light has been placed on Satan himself. For all pride and rebellion stems from that point in pre-Adamic history when sin in the heavens was first committed as the anointed cherub’s own heart turned away from God, and he became a lover of self.

Deuteronomy 30:17 – But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, and shall be drawn away, and will worship other gods, and serve them.

James 1:14 – But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and thereby enticed.

Self Esteem

As a result, in light of those specific references within them, it is impossible to reject the notion that both Ezekiel and Isaiah’s prophecies were given not only for a historical record of the fall of the kings of Babylon and of Tyrus through the Holy Spirit, but also the fall of the anointed cherub Lucifer as well. Through these prophecies we have been given insight into the foundation of all sin, which is SELF-esteem. For unless one has been continually oppressed and beaten down, and truly knows where they came from and who they honestly are, pride will almost always find a way to rise up in their hearts. Then, it is only a matter of time before they will begin to esteem themselves as deserving of the respect, praise, and admiration of others. For this very reason Paul told Timothy not to be too quick to place a novice into a position of leadership, unless he has been proven to be mature, firmly rooted and grounded in love, and already well established and functioning in the Lord’s service.

1st Timothy 3:2 – A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, and able to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, and not a brawler nor covetous. 4 He should be one who rules his own house well, and has his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Nor should he be a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he falls into the condemnation of the devil.

That phrase, “fall into the condemnation of the devil,” does not imply what many people perceive. Many think Paul is saying that the devil will only end up condemning the novice if he indeed becomes prideful. Yet, while it is obvious that the devil will indeed try to tempt the novice, and thus bring condemnation upon him, we must remember that God alone is the one who will ultimately condemn all unrepentant sinners. Rather, the Apostle Paul was warning Timothy that just as Satan was condemned for his pride, so too would the novice be if he were hastily placed in a position where he could be enticed and “lifted up with pride.” For from the beginning of all sin, “pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

In this light we can see how both the king of Tyrus, and the king of Babylon displayed those attributes which originated in Satan, the ultimate chief of all sinners. For as it had transpired with Satan, they too had allowed their positions and wealth to seduce them into believing a lie and went beyond what was lawful in God’s eyes in respect to their dominion and authority. For it was God who had given those positions of honor to them, for in reality they were nothing, their positions and power being only what God had permitted for His purpose. Therefore, their postures should have been full of humility and gratitude, instead of being lifted up with pride and thereby falling into condemnation, as the deceitfulness of sin ensnared them, and as with Satan, brought about their demise as well.

Let’s look at Ezekiel’s and Isaiah’s account of the devil’s narcissistic heart.

Ezekiel 28:17 – Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, and therefore have you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness.

Isaiah 14:13 – For you have said in your heart, I will ascend unto heaven, and will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I also will sit upon the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 and will ascend above the clouds: and I will be like the Most High.

Here we see the deceitful progression of SELF-esteem. For it caused Satan to view himself as superior to the rest of God’s angelic beings, stirring up in his heart a lust and ambition to place himself above them as he proclaimed his ultimate ambition, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God,” the stars being symbolic of God’s angels, as in the verse below.

Revelation 12:4 – And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman, which was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as it was born.

However, a self-absorbed egotistical heart can never be content with just the rising above peers, and therefore said the devil, “I will be like the Most High.” For having been mesmerized by his own beauty, Satan had become a lover of self and believed he too was entitled to the same admiration, praise, and worship as God, the very Creator of his beauty. But God is worthy of all the glory “inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house.”

Romans 1:24 – Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts… 25 Those who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen.

Self-esteem and self-love in finite creatures will always lead to the same end, humiliation and destruction. Though certainly, like many sins in their initial stages, they can make one feel good, but only temporarily. Therefore, because of his SELF-esteem Satan had corrupted his wisdom and forfeited both his position with God and soiled his God-given beauty. Any beauty he now has is only a projected illusion, a covering for his nakedness as it were with mere fig leaves. And since Satan had sought to honor himself instead of God his Creator, he was therefore condemned, and this is what Paul was referring to when he warned how a novice if placed in a position of leadership too soon, might be lifted up with pride, and likewise “fall into the condemnation of the devil.”

Ezekiel 28:17 – Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, and therefore was your wisdom corrupted by reason of your brightness: Therefore will I cast you to the ground and will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. 18 For you have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, and by the iniquity of your merchandise. Therefore, will I bring forth a fire from the midst of you, and it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you. 19 All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: for you shall be a terror, and never shall you be any more.

Isaiah 14:15 – Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying, “Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17 Is this him that made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the house of his prisoners?”

Devils in Heaven

In those verses we can see God not only made an accurate assessment of Satan’s heart, but He had condemned and sentenced him as well. Therefore, the following two questions arise.

First, if Satan was condemned, then why was he there in the garden tempting Adam and Eve?

Second question, if Lucifer was sentenced to hell, then why was he running around loose, or even permitted back into God’s heavenly throne room?

Perhaps you’ve never considered these questions before, but certainly these are valid questions in light of the verses we just looked at. To strengthen the validity of those questions even more, let’s look at scriptures in Job that seem to present Satan, who obviously was no longer serving the Lord, as nonetheless able to come and go wherever he wished. However, this liberty was actually a witness to his lawlessness; and his “free spirit” nothing more than an arrogant and rebellious spirit that dared even to approach the very throne of God!

Job 1:6 – Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, “From where are you coming?” To which Satan answered the LORD, “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”

The passage above continues with Satan accusing Job of only serving God for His protection and blessings. (I wonder of how many Christians today could this accusation actually be proven true?) Nevertheless, God’s response was not to react to Satan’s accusation with His own finger pointing and calling Satan a liar. Rather, He allowed Satan to try Job, knowing that through his coming afflictions righteous Job would prove Satan to be a liar. For this reason, God allowed Satan to literally take everything Job had, except his wife. Yet get this, Job continued to worship God through it all and to bless His name!!

Next, Satan accused Job of serving God only for his good health. To which once again, to disprove his lies, God permitted Satan to afflict Job nearly unto death.

Job 2:3 – And the LORD said unto Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, and one that fears God and hates evil? For he still holds fast his integrity, even though you move Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man has will he give for his life. 5 But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face.” 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.”7 So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. 8 And Job took him a potsherd to scrape himself therewith; as he sat down among the ashes. 9 Then said his wife unto him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said unto her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. For shall we only receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil as well?” And in all this Job did not sin with his lips.

What can be seen in all this are two things; first, the devil falsely accusing the righteous, and secondly, the righteous abstaining from reactionary and verbal sins. Much to the contrary, we see righteous Job even in the midst of his difficulty remaining committed to trusting and serving God.

Job 13:15 – Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.

Still, all this takes us back to the question, why did Satan have liberty to go before God in light of the judgment charged against him? To make this mystery even more bewildering, let’s add a third question, why also, in light of this pronounced judgment would any of the angelic host ever choose to side with the devil? Surely this wasn’t a quick or easy decision for the other angels, and some discussion must have exchanged, as well as considerable deliberation must have been taken. What was it that corrupted the other angels so as to betray their Creator?

My answer, at least the only one which seems to make any sense, and seems to fit the devil’s obvious argumentative pattern as we have witnessed in scripture, would be that the devil probably, like a crooked lawyer, cunningly argued his defense against God and before the heavenly host, and sadly, “the jury” as it were, was left divided and therefore was a hung jury. For those who don’t understand that term, a hung jury is when either the majority of jurors in a trial are unable to vote one way or the other so as to deliver either a not guilty or guilty verdict, or when jurors are split in their opinions.

Conceivably, Satan disputatiously began his defense against God’s judgment that he should be cast into hell, and against God’s accusation that he had sinned by his heart being lifted up because of his beauty, as to whether or not his wisdom was indeed corrupted by reason of his brightness, by his starting with a summons upon the angelic host for them to make their own comparative judgment. Was there really that much difference between their beauty and brightness, and would such a difference mean he deserved to be so harshly condemned by God as a sinner, and on what basis? Was there a list of commandments already established in the heavens? I ask that because we are told by Paul that God gave the law to man so that sin might become exceedingly sinful, but certainly not in God’s eyes, but in the eyes of those who knew not the law nor had a standard whereby to make righteous judgements.

Romans 7:13 – Was that which is good then made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, worked death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

1st John 3:4 – Whosoever commits sin also transgresses the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

But still, man had already sinned before the giving of the law, all Adam did was disregard the one thing God warned him about when he ate the forbidden fruit. But was there such a law already established or similarly expressed, whereby the angels were forewarned before the Lucifer coveted the throne of God, or was Lucifer’s sin simply that he had corrupted wisdom by admiring his own beauty and brightness? I will tell you now that I do not know, but nevertheless these are questions that I have thought about. But something must have taken place, a progression of events, an open discourse or sorts, something whereby the rest of the angels were somehow placed in a position very similar to Adam’s when he discovered Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, and now they too were confronted with a dilemma as to what they must do. Certainly, I do not believe God confronted them with a choice, but I surely believe Lucifer would have argued his guiltlessness of committing a heinous act worthy of banishment and eternal torment. So perhaps, though admittedly it would have been much more elegant than this, but perhaps, and truly just perhaps, the devil’s argument might have gone along the following lines of reasoning…

“What profound visible difference is there between God and me,” the devil might have asked, “that He alone should be worshipped? And furthermore, if God says it is sin, even an iniquity for me to sit upon a throne, why then is it not so for Him? Is there a double standard here in heaven? “If God does whatever He wants, then why is it that we cannot as well? For when does God ask or seek our approval, so why then should we need to have His?” “For how then, if simply because I too wish to sit on a throne, can He now declare me to be a sinner worthy of hell’s torment? By what standard? simply His own? For if all this against me is true, then would not He by His own judgment likewise deserve the same? For is not God doing that which He Himself has now condemned me, and that simply my wanting to be like Him? How can this be justice, that for such a desire I am now declared to be wicked, and should be condemned to have everlasting fire devour me? How can God be right in all this, seeing I only wanted to do as He Himself does?”

What blasphemy! Nevertheless, this harmonizes with those accusations Satan made earlier to Eve. “FOR GOD KNOWS… THAT YOU SHALL BE AS GODS.” Satan brazenly insinuated that it was due to God being egotistical and self-centered that He refused to let Adam and Eve eat of the tree; yet Satan knew if he could get them to eat of the fruit, in an attempt to become “gods,” then God would condemn them as well. Therefore, it is not hard to envision this arrogant creature consumed with envy arguing this same slander before the heavenly host.

Furthering this plausible argument of defense by the devil –

“God’s not willing to share the mount. Who’s He kidding? All He wants is to sit up there, high and lofty, and demanding we all worship Him. A little too much self-esteem I’d say. Can it really be fair for God to send me to hell simply because I wanted to be like Him? It’s not like I wanted His throne, just my own. I simply wanted to be LIKE the Most High, NOT THE MOST HIGH.”

Whatever his argument was, Satan’s reasoning had to be at the least powerfully enticing, if not convincing; for a considerable part of the heavenly host embraced his lies as plausible and elected to side with him. Regardless his argument, his desire to become a god to the other angels became a reality as a third of the angels were swept away in his revolt against the Lord God Almighty.

As the heavenly vision in Revelation 12 illustrates, the dragon “drew a third part of the stars of heaven” down to earth in attempt to kill Jesus at the time of His birth. Verse seven serves as a witness that Satan had indeed won a measurable allegiance from the fallen angels; as scripture states they became “his angels” and were now willfully partaking in his sin!

Revelation 12:4 – And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7 And there was war in heaven: as Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 But prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And so the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The angels who sided with Satan did so because they loved his wicked ideology more than God’s holiness. As he did with Eve, can we not see how Satan might have as well proposed to the angels a life equal to God’s in which they should be answerable to no one. Did he in his shrewdness manage to arouse a “pride of [one’s own] life” and stirred up a lust of SELF-esteem in them? For it seems at some point the fallen angels had become slaves to their own sinful envy; having their hearts corrupted so that now they too both despised and coveted the very majesty of God!

Clearly, something moved these angels to embrace Satan’s idiot-ology, and by allowing themselves to be seduced by his “deceivableness of unrighteousness,” they too now had fallen into “the condemnation of the devil.” For having rejected the “love of the truth,” God gave them over to Satan’s strong delusion that they should believe his lie, so that they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Satan’s accusations had shaken the whole of God’s creation. No angel could escape the effect of Satan’s lies, that God does whatever He wants irrespective of others and unilaterally condemns those who would seek to exercise the same “freedom” or “right.” Nevertheless, most of the angels were steadfast and kept their trust in God and remained loyal; emotionally unsettled maybe, but loyal to their Creator nonetheless.

But this all brings us to another question; why didn’t the Almighty God simply close His hand, or snap His fingers, or just wink His eye and simply erase Satan with all those rebellious angels, or cast them straight into hell? Certainly, just as easily as they were spoken into creation, they could have been erased or destroyed. But even though God had declared His judgment against the fallen angels, He nevertheless delayed the execution of His judgment against them, so why did He?

The answer abides within the nature of God, for He is a God of love who champions indisputable truth. Therefore, God’s priority was not an execution of judgment, but rather to irrefutably validate His love and truth through an open demonstration of His person; so that no accusation of any kind could ever be thrust upon His Holy Name again.

Hebrews 1:1 – God, who at sundry times and in various manners had spoken in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, upholds all things by the word of His power, and when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

God’s priority was not one of vengeance, nor was He anxious to retaliate against His accuser and those who had wickedly believed his lies. Rather, God’s priority was to prove beyond all doubt His holy character in the hearts and minds of the faithful angels. For knowing both the rewards and risk of giving His creatures freewill, God had foreseen this inevitable rise of rebellion. For scriptures tell us, that from the very foundation of heaven and earth, God had devised a mysterious plan whereby He would forever eliminate any grounds for suspicion in the hearts of those that would believe in Him. What was God’s plan? He would first “justify” Himself, and THEN thoroughly avenge Himself THROUGH His heavenly host!

Ephesians 3:8 – Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known thru the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which He had in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1st Peter 1:12 – Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves [the prophets of old], but unto us did they minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; Which things the angels do desire to look into.

Instead of immediately defending Himself, God chose to remain silent before His accuser. He did not strive to clear His name in the heavens nor to win the hearts of humanity with unsupported “enticing words,” instead, He patiently waited preferring a “demonstration of His Spirit and power.” For having been accused of being an egotist, unfair and domineering, God knew He could forever indisputably disprove all these blasphemous lies through the man Jesus Christ and the work of the cross.

1st Corinthians 2:4 – For my speech and my preaching was not with persuasive words of man’s wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 6 Howbeit, we speak wisdom among them that are mature: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this are, which come to naught: 7 Rather we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God before the world decreed unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world could discerned: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Dear reader, God delights in all His creatures and His desire is that they too would delight in Him. For that reason, He has given us His love freely, and longs for our love to be freely returned. For God knows that our love, if it is to be a true and righteous love, MUST be freely given and with absolute trust.

But after Lucifer fell from grace and corrupted his wisdom, he then lied and denied any wrongdoing, and surely God knew it. Unfortunately though, a third part of the angels didn’t, and having been seduced by Satan’s persuasive words they chose to agree with his lies. Theirs was a fatal choice, which sadly remains an all too popular one even today.

Be not deceived, there is no neutral ground to take with God, His righteousness will not permit it. For in His eyes, one’s failure to stand with Him and to separate oneself from sinners is a choice to stand against Him. Consequently, just as Satan’s lies forced every angel to choose whom they agreed with or would serve, we too are all forced to do the same. We must be separate from sinners, or we too become guilty and partakers of their sins.

Matthew 12:30 – He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad.

2nd John 1:9 – Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. But he that abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 Therefore, if any come to you and brings not this doctrine, do not receive him into your houses, neither wish him God speed: 11 For he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

2nd Corinthians 6:14 – Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion has light with darkness? 15 Or what friendship has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he that believes with an infidel? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For your body is the temple of the living God; for God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”

False Accusations

So far, we’ve seen the devil deceive Eve, call God a liar, and accuse righteous Job. Are you surprised by all this? You shouldn’t be. This has been Satan’s manner of sin “from the beginning.” And so were we warned by Jesus that “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub [Chief of Sinners], then how much more shall they slander them of His household?”

1st John 3:7 – Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 8 Just as he that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. Yet for this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Matthew 5:11 – Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.

Do not think you are going to be attack for being a godly person, or for doing the right thing, rather you will be vilified and presented as a deceiver and horrible person. For false accusations have always been Satan’s ammunition of choice to attack those who would choose to live godly, and as a swordsman is a master of his weapon, so is our enemy with his lies.

Psalm 119:69 – The proud have forged a lie against me: nevertheless with my whole heart will I keep your precepts.

To “forge” something is to deliberately fabricate something false in an effort to pass it off as genuine or true. Remember how at Jesus’ trial they sought false witnesses that they might put Him to death? And though many false witnesses came, they could not find any that were convincing. So, the problem wasn’t a shortage of accusations, rather the credibility of the witnesses. For they were unable to “forge” a lie to stand against our Lord and Savior. Then came two false witnesses which said, “This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God and build it again in three days.” However, what Jesus really said was, “Destroy this temple [His body], and in three days I will raise it up.” You will never cease to be amazed just how adept the adversary is at twisting the words of God.

Consequently, the Bible contains many such accounts of God’s faithful being not only falsely accused, but aggressively abused as well. We see Stephen accused of speaking “blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.” In Macedonia, Paul and Silas were accused of troubling a whole city, and beaten and cast into prison! In Thessalonica their preaching caused such an uproar that they were actually accused of “turning the world upside down!”

Acts 6:8 – And Stephen being full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people… 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke. 11 Then they bribed men, which said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.” 12 And so stirred they up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and they came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13 Then set they up false witnesses which said, “This man ceases not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.” 15 And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Acts 16:19 – …they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace before the rulers, 20 Who then brought them to the magistrates, saying, “These men being Jews do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 For they teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe as being Romans.”

Acts 17:4 – And some of them believed and consorted with Paul and Silas, including many of the devout Greeks, and of the chief women not a few. 5 But the Jews which believed not were moved with envy, and took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort and gathered together an assembly and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 And when they could not find them, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, “These that have turned the world upside down have come here also; 7 Even these whom this Jason has received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.”

Shortly afterwards, Paul was called “a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition among all the Jews of the world, a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: who has gone about and profaned the temple,” (Acts 24:5). Even dragging Paul before Festus, the governor of Judea, the Jews persisted their persecution as they “laid many grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove,” (Acts 25:7, 8).

So do not think that the devil and his “children” will ever cease forging their lies against the church. Nor should you be surprised when they begin to attack you too.

2nd Timothy 3:8 – Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds and reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as also theirs was. 10 But you have fully known my doctrine, and manner of life, and my purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Including my persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what intimidations I had to endured: but out of them all did the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall likewise suffer persecution.

Made Lower Than The Angels

Hebrews 2:9 – But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, now crowned with glory and honor in that He, by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became Him, for Whom all things are, and by Whom are all things, for His bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren… 14 For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And so deliver them who through their fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

There are many who perceive Satan’s “power of death” in verse 14, to be the same as having the “keys of death” in Revelation 1:18. It’s not, for in Psalm 68:20 it shows that “our God is the God of salvation; and unto God belong the issues of death.” The devil has never had the unilateral power to take life. God alone determines and permits the time of every man’s death, not the devil. We see this proven in the Old Testament where the dead were brought back to life by God’s servants.

1st Kings 17:18 – And she said unto Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Are you come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?” 19 And he said unto her, “Give me your son.” And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. 20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, “O LORD my God, Have You also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?” 21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, “O LORD my God, I pray You, let this child’s soul come into him again.” 22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, “See, your son lives”. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.”

2nd Kings 4:32 – And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them both, and prayed unto the LORD. 34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 35 Then he returned and walked in the house to and fro; and went up and stretched himself again upon him: and the child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

2nd Kings 13:20 – And Elisha died, and they buried him. And at the coming in of the year bands of the Moabites invaded the land. 21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, that they saw a band of men; and so they hastily cast the corpse of the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and he touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

In the New Testament we see that not only did Jesus raise Lazarus, and the daughter of Jairus who was one of the rulers of the synagogue, as well as the widow’s son from the dead, He also gave His disciples the “power to raise the dead,” all prior to His death on the cross. For the power of life and death are God’s alone, for as we saw that the devil could never have killed Job’s family had God not permitted it. Likewise, concerning the “beast” of Revelation “it was given him,” that is leeway was granted whereby he could make war with the saints and overcome them, (Revelation 13:7).

Now when I express that the devil needed God’s leave to take the life of a man, that is not to deny that there are certain things which people can do that indeed may affect God’s determination in the timing of their death. Some examples would be eating properly and exercising, versus gluttony, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as suicide. These are the consequences of reaping what one sows, however, without God’s permissiveness, death cannot comply with any man’s own desire to die.

Revelation 9:6 – And in those days shall men seek death and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Proverbs 18:21 states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” and this is where the devil’s “power of death” abides. All he can do on his own is lie, undermine, distort, and pervert the truth of God, and so he intentionally mishandles it by overly emphasizing certain parts, while minimizing or even outright ignoring other indispensable parts. This is known as the “Strain at a gnat, swallow a camel” religion of hypocrites. This is what leads men in way which seems right unto them, but the end is death.

Matthew 23:23 – Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! for you pay tithes of mint and anise and cumin, yet you have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to have left the others undone. 24 You are blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! for you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are left full of extortion and excess. 26 You blind Pharisees, clean first that which is within the cup and platter, so that the outside of them may be clean also.

Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

The result of this kind of religion is death, but not only does it fail to reconcile men to God; it leads them further away from the truth which is meant to set them free.

Matthew 23:13  – But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men,  For neither do you go in, nor do you allow those that would go to enter therein.

Luke 11:52 – Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge and you yourselves did not enter in, and do also hinder those who would.

So is it Satan’s strategy, to try and shipwreck every Christian’s faith with false “doctrines of devils” and religious hypocrisy, or to utterly discourage them with an endless flood of false accusations and persecutions. Either way, the Christian has a war being waged against them whereby they need to guard their hearts and minds and hold fast to the truth and promises of God.

1st Timothy 1:18 – This charge I commit unto you my son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before for you, that by them you might war a good warfare; 19 Holding to faith and a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.

1st Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, by giving heed to seducing spirits, and to doctrines of devils; 2 And speaking lies in hypocrisy, will thereby have their conscience seared with a hot iron.

To counter the devil’s crusade of deception, the Holy Spirit has been given to illuminate the heart of the yielded believer to God’s precious truths. Not just the written truth, but the Living Truth Himself! God came in the flesh to discredit Satan’s lies and has long since returned via His Holy Spirit to establish true faith in the heart of every believer that the divine nature of Christ might be fully formed in them.

Galatians 4:19 – My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Ephesians 4:13 – Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, even unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. 14 That henceforth we should be no more children, tossed to and fro and easily carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and their cunning craftiness, whereby they do lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, you may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

2nd Thessalonians 2:13 – For we are bound to give thanks always to God for you brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2nd Peter 1:3 – According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are also given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Disproving Satan’s Lies

 We begin with the following two scriptures.

1st John 3:8 – He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 Who nonetheless made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, those things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Yes, it is true, the Supreme Governor of the universe made Himself lower than the angels. In that earthen vessel of flesh and blood of the man Jesus Christ dwelt “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”  It was there in that frail, humble form of humanity that the revelation of God’s eternal glory was to be unveiled, and through it His divine character to be undeniably and clearly revealed to all.

Colossians 1:12 – Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 He who is the image of the invisible God, and the firstborn of every creature: 16 by whom all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, even for Him: 17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. 18 For He is the head of the body, the church: and is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; 20 And thereby having made peace through the blood of His cross, that by Him, He might reconcile all things unto Himself; whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven.

Colossians 2:9 – For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Isaiah 52:10 – The LORD made bare [and revealed] His Holy Arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

This is the mystery of godliness, that He who was once “sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, descended from heaven to take upon Himself the lowly form of a man for all the nations to see. But do we truly believe this?

Isaiah 53:1 – For who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

John 12:41 – These things spoke Esaias, when he saw His glory, and testified of Him.

Think about this description Isaiah gives of the Lord Jesus Christ for a minute, how He will grow up as “a tender plant… a root out of dry ground?” What does that really mean? Many take it as a reference to the barrenness of Israel at the time of Jesus’ coming, but is that what it really speaking of? For Isaiah is not speaking of Israel in this passage, but of Jesus, for he continues his description with the comment that “when we shall see Him there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” Because of these  comments, I believe they are actually addressing the outward appearance of Jesus as a man in the eyes of others.

So, with that in mind, let us imagine that there are two identical containers in which you plant identical tomato seedlings. However, the first container you water frequently as is recommended, while the other you sporadically water only once or twice a week. The first grows as it should, strong and healthy and becomes a hardy looking tomato plant. The other however which you watered once or twice a week, still grows, but having its roots in dry soil remains a frail and tender plant. So when the two are compared side by side, the favor goes immediately to the robust plant, for the second one has no real visible potentials to compel you if you were shopping for plants to choose it over the stronger robust one. Now this my friends, is the biblical record given us of the incarnation of Christ. So let’s read it one more time.

Isaiah 53:2 – For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

This is He who once descended upon Mount Sinai with thunders, lightning, and fire with a thick cloud of darkness, and caused the whole mount to quake greatly; the same Who also came into the world as a lowly infant destined to grow up to be the polestar of all truth and the pinnacle point of all eternity for every living creature.

Luke 2:34 – And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.

The Almighty did not come with an appearance like that of King Saul, who was obviously a “choice young man” and “goodly and there was not a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders upward, he was higher than any of the people,” (I Samuel 9:2). For surely this was the kind of Christ most were looking for, and still are. But no, God took for Himself a body with “no form nor comeliness” that “when we shall see Him, there was no beauty that we should desire Him.”

God did not attempt to prove He was worthy of both men and angels’ loyalty and love, by sending Jesus into the world with a majestic appearance, unmatched beauty, possessing an intimidating physique of extraordinary might and power. No, instead, having laid all that aside, it was in a frail and uncomely body, which was beaten, whipped, spat upon, crucified and pierced body. It was through His suffering and death as a man, and that for all men, that He silently and yet openly, undeniably proved His love for us and forever settled any question of His being worthy of all glory, honor and power.

It was in this lowliness that God repudiated the lies of the devil, by taking a form lower than the angels’ and was literally birthed into the world He had made through the womb of a virgin as a child. As such, He lived a humble and godly life that would forever prove to both the angels and humanity that He was worthy of all the love and service of His creatures. As a man, Jesus by example showed men how they ought to live their lives; as everything that Jesus said and did was in full accordance with the will of His Father.

John 4:34 – Jesus said unto them, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.”

John 5:19 – Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son [in His humanity] can do nothing of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do: for what things so ever He does, these also does the Son likewise do.”

Having fully experienced the benefit of obedience through the things which He suffered; Jesus set the standard for all who would thereafter choose to live godly.

Philippians 2:8 – And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Hebrew 5:8 – Though He were a Son, He still learned obedience by the things which He suffered; 9 And being made perfect, He thereby became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.

1st Peter 2:21 – For even hereunto were you called: for as Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 He who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: 23 Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously: 24 Who in His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, showing that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.

God Will Provide Himself a Lamb

One of the greatest prophetic examples in the Old Testament, of God giving His only begotten Son for the world, is seen in God’s requiring Abraham to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt offering. For in this, and through this, we see how Abraham by faith not only understood that the promise of the inheritance was with Isaac, but how he also gained further understanding of God’s final plan to provide for Himself the perfect sacrifice for His people’s sin and redemption. For Abraham knew that if God was requiring Isaac to be slain, and his body consumed in the flames of the burnt offering, Abraham also by faith knew and fully believed that God would then have to raise Isaac from the dead again to fulfill the covenant God had made with him. So it is no wonder scripture refers to Abraham’s faith  and he being as it were a father of all them that believe.

Hebrew 11:17 – By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: for he that had received the promises obediently offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, “That in Isaac shall your seed be called.” 19 [This he did] Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence he also received him in a figure.

Romans 4:16 – Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (even as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed. Even God, who alone gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 For Abraham, contrary to hope, nevertheless in hope believed, and so by he has become the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Abraham, having been instructed by God to offer up Isaac as a burnt offering, arose early and with the help of his son Isaac and two other young men, animals were made ready and loaded with wood for the burnt offering. Then they all traveled three days to the place where God had directed Abraham. Upon their arrival, Abraham instructed the young men to wait while Isaac and he went to “worship God.” Here was the father of faith knowing the hardest task of his life was before him, and he called it “worshipping God.” Nevertheless, Abraham was settled in his heart and fully resolved to obey God and was committed to the slaying of Isaac with his own hands and to offer up his body upon the altar unto God, to be utterly consumed as a burnt offering. And with this resolve did Abraham turn to those two young men who had accompanied them, and in faith assured them that both Isaac and he would return.

Genesis 22:6 – And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to Abraham his father, “My father,” and he said, “Here am I, my son.” And he said, “Behold I see the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” So went they on, both of them together.

There in verse eight above, we see the Spirit of Prophecy resting upon Abraham bringing forth the sure word of testimony of Jesus Christ for our benefit in scripture, establishing solid foundation for our faith and assurance. Therefore, we can be confident in the New Covenant, that even as God’s word was true for Abraham and His son Isaac, that for us too has God provided “Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” for our sins also.

For not only did God provide a lamb for Isaac’s immediate redemption, in unshakable truth did He provide Himself as that Lamb which alone could take away the sin of the world. For the “mighty God, the everlasting Father”  was as a lamb brought to the slaughter as our “offering for sin,” That He might reign as our Prince of Peace. He who is the giver of all life “poured out His soul unto death.” He who is our Judge, our Lawgiver, and our King, allowed Himself to be numbered with the transgressors,” (see also Isaiah – the entire 53rd chapter).

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born. And to us is a Son given; and the government will be on His shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Philippians 2:9 – Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, both things in heaven, and things in earth, as well as things under the earth; 11 That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

By the cross it was proven that Satan had lied! For thereupon Jesus chose His battleground to “spoiled principalities and powers,” and thereupon made He a show of them openly, “triumphing over them in it,” (Colossians 2:15). For here it was for all eternity established as a polestar of truth that God was not merely doing what He wanted, or considered most pleasant, or for the honoring of Himself. For no, rather as a loving Creator and Father, here He did what was best for those He had created knowing full well the cost of their sins had to be paid if they were to be reconciled unto Him. Oh that we could only be filled with the absolute splendor of the following verses.

2nd Corinthians 5:18 – For all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 whereas God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and putting the word of reconciliation in us. 20 Therefore are we made ambassadors on behalf of Christ, and with God exhorting through us do we beseech you, be reconciled to God.

Luke 22:41 – And when He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, He prayed, 42 Saying, “Father, if You be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will, but Your will be done.” 43 And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He prayed all the more earnestly: so that His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Romans 15:3 – For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of them that reproached You, have fallen upon Me.”

John 5:30 – Of Mine own self I can do nothing: For it is as I hear that I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which has sent Me.

Hebrews 5:7 – Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto Him that was able to save Him from death, He was thereby heard in that He feared; 8 For though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; 9 And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.

The Almighty God did not come as an overbearing and self-serving master. No, He came as a lowly, yet loving Shepherd seeking those that were lost, and eager to lead those who would follow Him in paths of righteousness to the restoration of their souls. If all this thus far has not been sufficient to clear His glorious name, then consider the words of Jesus below.

Revelation 3:18 – I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear: Therefore, anoint your eyes with eye ointment, that you might see. 19 For as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: and if any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in unto him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. 21 For to him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. 22 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

What do all these passages of scripture affirm? What has the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ proven? It proved God is not egotistical. It proved God, who is the source and center and  Creator of all things, is still not self-centered, even though the existence of all things is forever dependent upon Him! It proved God, whose laws are indeed in and of His own perfect and holy nature, is still both just and desirous to be merciful! It proves God is a patient, loving, and responsible Creator! Furthermore, it undeniably proves God is not only willing, but desirous to share His throne! For once again hear His promise, “For to him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne.”

2nd Timothy 2:11 – It is a faithful saying: “If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him 12 If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. But if we deny Him, He will also deny us.”

Romans 8:16 – For the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.  17 And if we are His children, then we are heirs, even heirs of God, for we have been made joint heirs with Christ. For if it be so that we suffer with Him, so also will we be glorified together. 18 Therefore, I do not reckon that the sufferings of this present time are worthy to be compared with that glory which shall be revealed in us.

Can you believe this? So much for all those blasphemous lies of the devil. For by God being manifested in the flesh, the devil was openly condemned and proven a seditious liar! In light of both history and scripture, God forever has proven Himself the meekest, most thoughtful, merciful, and generous of all living beings! Eternal praise be to the glorious name of Jesus!


Luke 10:17 – And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Your name.” 18 And He said unto them, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

The above verse is a very enlightening piece of scripture. By it we learn that while the disciples were away, Jesus, (who was in prayer and fasting often), “beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Now some people think Jesus literally saw Satan cast to the earth. Others believe Jesus saw this in a metaphorical sense, as a spiritual result of the seventy’s mission. However, neither of these views have any other scriptural support apart from this passage.

A third opinion, is that Jesus did indeed have a vision, but it was prophetic; meaning the event He witnessed was yet to take place. It is this view which has the most support of the scriptures. Personally, I believe it was this vision which enabled Jesus to set His face like flint toward the cross.

Isaiah 50:7 – For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore, shall I not be confounded: therefore, have I set My face like a flint, for I know that I shall not be ashamed. 8 He is near that justifies Me; therefore, who can contend with Me? Let us stand together: who is Mine adversary? let him come near to Me. 9 For behold, the Lord GOD will help Me; who is he that shall condemn Me? For lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.

According to scripture, Jesus “beheld Satan… fall,” past tense. Now admittingly, in prophetic visions it is normal to see events come to pass before the events literally happen. The books of Isaiah, Daniel, and Revelation should provide adequate proof for any skeptic of that being so. However, the most significant proof I find that this was a “prophetic vision,” and not just an “event” resulting from the disciple’s mission, comes from other statements made later on by Jesus Himself.

John 12:23 – And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it will bring forth much fruit… 27 Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, some saying that it thundered: others said, “An angel spoke to Him.” 30 But Jesus answered and said, “This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. 31 For now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me.” 33 This he said, signifying what death He should die. 34 The people answered Him, “We have heard out of the law that Christ abides forever: and how then do you say, “The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?”

John 14:28 – You have heard how I said unto you, that I go away and will come again unto you. If you love Me, you would rejoice, because I said I go unto My Father, for My Father [being omnipresent] is greater than I[as a man]. 29 And now I told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass you might believe. 30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world is coming, and has nothing in Me.

John 16:7 – I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you. But if I depart, I will send Him unto you. 8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment… 11 Of judgment because the prince of this world is judged.

In these verses Jesus referred to Satan’s fall as something about to happen, and He also stated that the prince of this world is judged. Again, all being spoken in the past tense. Note also, that it is just prior to His crucifixion that Jesus told those with Him that “NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out,” and then He further warned them that “the prince of this world is coming.” It should be evident to the reader that in these scriptures Jesus was announcing that very day, to the people there with Him, that these events were about to occur, and not events which were afar off into the future.

The time of occurrence appears to be linked with the time of Christ’s death, or as John 12:23 refers to it, the time for Jesus to be “glorified.” Jesus knew the devil “has nothing in Me,” for while He was locked in time and space by His humanity, He remained in constant subjection to His Holy Infinite Spirit. Having successfully lived as a man not governed by His flesh, it was impossible for the devil to find any place to justly accuse Him. Jesus’ secret? He committed Himself to the Spirit and kept His eyes on the joy set before Him.

Now before we start the next part, I want to return your focus to four key words we have heard which we need to remember: “Justified, glorified, judged” and “condemned.” God was “justified” and therefore “glorified.” The devil was “judged” and therefore “condemned,” both at the same time. Both by the same event; the shedding of God’s blood on Calvary!


Revelation 12:5 – And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne… 7 And there was war in heaven: as Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 but prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, even Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice you heavens and you that dwell in them.

Here we are told of an awesome war which occurred in heaven, a war which many, (for what reason I do not know nor understand), believe has yet to take place. But in light of what we have heard from the words of Jesus prior to His going to the cross, and what we read in this passage in Revelation, “her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne… And there was war in heaven,” it seems evident therefore that this war occurred either at Christ’s death on the cross, His resurrection, or perhaps maybe as late as the time of His ascension from the mount. However, I am most inclined to believe it was most probably at the time of His completed work on the cross, when He stated, “It is finished.”

John 19:28 – …Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst.” 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar and they filled a sponge with vinegar and put it upon hyssop, and raised it up to His mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, “It is finished,” and bowed his head and gave up the ghost.

Colossians 2:13 – And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all your trespasses. 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, by nailing it to His cross, 15 For having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly and triumphed over them upon the cross.

Now I would like to remind you that Jesus gave the first proof of His divine ministry at a wedding which He and His disciples were invited to, with the miracle of His turning water into wine. For if you recall, at this wedding there were six vessels of stone which held water, which were there solely because of the Jews vain religious tradition whereby they would not eat unless they had first washed their hands. And yet, it was these very vessels, being filled up by the servants with clean water, that Jesus used and turned the water therein into wine, and it was “good wine.” Can anyone readily see a sermon in that alone already?

 Now, in doing so, having replaced the water with wine, Jesus had literally removed this vain work of purification from the wedding and replaced it with what would become symbolic to His followers of that which alone could purify men from their sins, His blood. (And never forget, it is still all about The Wedding.) Yet here at the end of His earthly ministry we see men giving to Him vinegar to drink just before He says, “It is finished.” But do you not know that the consequence of neglected wine is that it turns to vinegar? Thus, their actions were a testimony against them, that they wanted nothing to do with Jesus or His Gospel. As Isaiah foretold, He was despised and rejected of men and considered accursed of God by them.

But through it all, the faithful angels having “seen” the life and death of Christ were now fully persuaded that God was deserving of all their love and service. United and energized, they fought against Satan and forever expelled him and his angels from heaven. Yet, not only did the holy angels fight for God, they fought for God’s people as well; and they continue to minister to the saints according to God’s will. Satan can no longer come before the throne of God and hurl his blasphemous accusations. He and his lies had been put to an open shame at the cross, (Colossians 2:14 & 15). God’s victory could not be hidden or denied. For by this pinnacle event of all eternity, God “made peace through the blood of His cross… to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven,” (Colossians 2:12 thru 20).

But what does God’s word say now to those on earth? “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth… for the devil is come unto you having great wrath, for he knows that he has but a short time,” (Revelation 12:12). Having been exposed and humiliated by his defeat, Satan knows that his days are numbered. Therefore, he seeks to do as much damage through his deceit as he continues to “cast out of his mouth water as a flood” of false teachings, attacking the woman representing the church, “that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood,” (Revelation 12:16). This is evident in the Apostle Paul’s statement to the Galatians, “I marvel that you are so soon removed” and easily carried way “from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed,” (Galatians 1:6 thru 8).

The devil has a foaming hatred and raging wrath towards all humanity, but especially so against Israel and the Church. Ultimately, because man is created in the image of God, who He proved His love for man via the work of the cross. Therefore, the devil’s only avenue of vengeance toward God is his constant cunning pursuit for any opportunity to turn man against man in hatred for each other as he attempts to deceive, persecute, and destroy the Body of Christ. He knows he can’t defeat God, for he was literally cast out of heaven and knows his time is short. Therefore, ever since then his wrath has been constantly demonstrated against the church and Israel as his only means of retaliation against God.

But never let us succumb to fearing this fallen adversary, rather let us trust and fear God and give Him all glory. For just as there was no uncertainty among the heavenly angels, neither should there be among the people of God. Otherwise, as the devil and his angels were cast out for their sins and unbelief, we too should receive like condemnation.

Hebrews 4:1 – Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as it was unto them. But the word preached did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Rather, just as the holy angels fought whole heartedly for God and overcame him by witnessing the shed blood of the Lamb and hearing the word of His testimony, so let us too be brave, be strong, have faith and live like saints of the living God!

1st Corinthians 16:13 – Watch you and stand fast in the faith, be you like men, be strong.

Hebrews 12:12 – Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but rather let it be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. 15 Watching diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God an any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, for many thereby are defiled.

Since the fall of the once anointed cherub Lucifer, “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent, [or the determined must] take it by force,” for the devil will oppose to the end all who would strive to enter in, (Matthew 11:12). Never forget, just as the angels and saints of old overcame, so can every true believer today!

It is to our shame that it is so hard for us to endure momentary hardships and to resist our temptations. Especially when God has promised no temptation would be so great that we could not overcome it, nor will He fail to give us a way to escape it. We must  esteem the “reproaches of Christ greater riches” than all the riches of the world, and rejoice, counting it all joy when we are considered worthy to suffer for His name. But do we?

 Romans 8:18 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Come on fellow saints, you redeemed of the Lord! Let us pick up our crosses and follow the Captain of our Salvation. For unlike Jesus, we deserve our crosses, and without Him your cross would be only your just reward and shame. But now, even today, your cross can be a witness of your love and a testimony to His glory! Set your heart to do that which He has promised you can and must do, and be strong in the Lord and rise up and “overcome the wicked one by the blood of the Lamb” and the word of your testimony. Pick up your cross and follow Him! For worthy is the Lamb which was slain to receive glory and honor and power!

1st John 5:20 – For we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Live for Jesus Christ the King! For it will make it easier for you to die for Him!


Awake, you sleeper! Awake! Arise and make yourself ready! It’s time to put aside those childish pursuits and your endless musing with vanities.  Awake, I say! Do you not realize the time in which you are privileged to live? Now more than ever can the sound of the bridegroom’s coming be heard. Surely, He is drawing near. The need to purify yourself has grown greater, for the time allotted has grown shorter. The dark of night has already conquered the eastern horizon as the sun glow fades in the west. The King had long ago sent out His invitation, in which He proclaims to all, “COME!” Yes, come, and do make haste! Do you not know that if you refuse to comply with the King that His anger will be kindled against you? Yet in His patience and longsuffering He still says, “Come! Come to the greatest of all feasts!  Where there is food, wine, and much song and dance. Joyful dance to celebrate the wedding of all weddings. Come and attend My wedding, come and be part of My bride.” The Bridegroom has long been ready, yet He has patiently waited. He has waited for you!  Arise therefore you sleeper! So much remains for you to do. TODAY you must prepare. So set aside your complacency and strive to mature!  Strive to increase your knowledge and grow in your understanding so you might be completely resolved to live your life solely for the King of kings!  Rise up now and cast out reservation and hesitation, these are evil foes that have hindered and killed countless before you. Arise! Answer His call! It is your only reasonable response . . .

“Awake you who sleep, and arise from the dead, for Christ shall give you light. Awake to righteousness and sin not. For some [of you] have not the [intimate] knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” 

(Eph. 6:14, I Cor. 15:34)

With Downloadable Audio

Note: This is a work in progress, working on the last 2 chapters, then I will fall back to tweak the audio files a bit.

Table of Content

Click on Chapter to link to page

  • Chapter 2 – Giving Way to the Rise of The Son of Perdition
  • Chapter 4 – Biblical End Times Players of Revelation
  • Chapter 12– Before the Conclusion of the Seventy Weeks
  • Chapter 15 – The Destruction of the Temple and the Death of the Ceremonial Law
  • Chapter 16– Division of the Seventieth           
  • Chapter 17– He Shall Confirm the Covenant with Many
  • Chapter 19 – I doubt many will believe it, though a man declares it unto you.
  • Chapter 20 – The Mystery of Godliness
  • Chapter 21 -Trips to the Tomb with Chart of Passion Week – Days and Events

About the Author

As a child I was raised a Lutheran, and I can clearly remember one day when the Sunday school teacher was obviously feeling a little evangelistic. Up to then we would mostly spend our time coloring, doing flannel board lessons about bible characters, or just spend the time out on the playground while our parents were in Church. But on this one particular day she shared with us kids that if we had Jesus in our hearts then we would get to go to heaven, but if not, well… we would go to hell. 

Now that was some pretty powerful news for kids between 6-8 years old. So, I raised my hand and asked her, “How do we know Jesus is real?” After all, none of us had ever seen Him hanging around the church and all I had ever seen were drawings or paintings of Him. Now my question really threw her threw a loop, for after looking at me for a bit she honestly replied, “I don’t know, I guess we just better believe in case He is,” Well, that was it for me. If she didn’t have an answer for that one, why would I ask any more questions? 

 However, that night in bed I remembered what she said and my thoughts went to a painting my grandmother had of Jesus standing outside an arched door knocking to come in. As I lay there I knew what she said was true even if she hadn’t been able to answer my question. Her crude little Gospel message was still sharp enough to pierce into my little heart. I was scared, and so I began to cry being frustrated that she wasn’t able to answer my question. For had she given me an answer, I certainly would have asked the one that was agonizing me that night, “How do I get Jesus into my heart?”

So, as I lay on my back in bed I began to repeatedly turn a knob to an imaginary door on my chest and pretended I was opening a door over and over while crying, “Jesus, please come into my heart…” I wish I could say from that point on I have faithfully served the Lord, but that’s not the case. For though I believed in the Lord, there was still no one in my life that could effectively speak the things of God into my life. Oh I believed Jesus was real, but He quickly became only Sunday-go-to-church real. With no real mentor or example to teach me how to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” I eventually found church was no longer able to capture my attention. Church soon became nothing more than another meeting place that parents took their kids to. 

As far as school goes, it was never a real attention grabber for me. The only thing that made any sense to me was math, but oh how I hated English, History, and Science. I just felt it all was completely irrelevant to my life. The worst thing they ever did to me was put me in sight of a window. For the life of me, there was no way I could focus in school knowing the whole world was going on outside. 

Add to that, being a teenager in the sixties it was really easy for me to get caught up in the music and drugs and before long I was staying out all night. There was no vision in my life other than living the moment and doing drugs. I had good parents who loved me and disciplined me, but even though I loved them I just couldn’t keep their rules anymore. So after 9th grade I quit school and ended up running away from home when I was fifteen with a pregnant girlfriend. We eventually got caught across the state and had to go home, but it didn’t take long before I was back on the street. I assure you, a fifteen year old on the streets makes a lot of compromises to get by and crime becomes the norm.  

Eventually I moved into some guy’s back yard toolshed with a couple other guys, each of us paying five dollars a week. Late one night we were all getting high on a construction site in the neighborhood with some other potheads when two of them began to brag about how great and powerful Satan was. I admit I was a bit taken back by them at first. But being stoned and thinking about my own destitute situation in life, I asked them very seriously, “Ok, if Satan is so powerful, then what can he do for me?” To my surprise they looked at me and got extremely upset and started cursing at me and just left. I wasn’t sure what really happened, I just thought they were extremely weird. But over the years I’ve concluded somehow they were given the message “No, leave this one alone.”

Eventually I ended up in a non-denominational house church that started what they called a “Discipleship Program.” I moved in with the pastor and a couple other men and started my discipleship. After years of involvement I was made a deacon, then an elder, and eventually even an assistant pastor. It was in that church that I met a very special woman and we got married. The church eventually started a school and a Christian dinner theater, but things in general didn’t progress very well. Sadly, some of the leaders didn’t really walk the Christian walk and soon alcohol, sex and sin were the hidden norms everywhere. Being consumed by the guilt of my own sins, one Sunday when my turn came to preach, I decided to share my last message from the passage below. 

Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

The focus of my message was simple, are you fellow leaders even spiritual enough to recognize when a man is overtaken in a fault? Or have you too already yielded to all your temptations. It was my last cry of desperation as I made plans to leave the church. My wife and I moved 300 miles away and within a year I was fallen again headlong into immorality, drug use and alcohol. I found out firsthand what a really big jerk my wife’s first husband was… even though to this day she has only been married once.

A couple of years later, and over a thousand miles away from home, separated and all alone on a blood moon eclipse night, I was so drugged out and intoxicated that my body was having alarming signs threatening me that that night might well be my very last. I cried out again to God, “Lord, all I wanted was to be a man of God. I believe in You, but I don’t believe in anything I was taught anymore. Why can’t I be an overcomer? Why can’t I do the right thing? Lord I just want to go home and start over.” I woke up the next day resolved to do just that, but I had so many things I needed to get right before I could. I tried my best to mend local relationships and wrongs committed and then sold everything I owned but my clothes and van and headed back home. 

Once home I was trying hard to do the right thing and was graciously reunited with my wife. One Sunday we were with some other Christian friends as we all decided to visit a new Church started by a popular Miami Beach performer who supposedly became a Christian. Having been through so much sin myself, who was I to throw stones or to judge?

So, I went and listened to him preach and he hit on all the points that make sinners want a happier and better life. He gave an invitation saying he knew there were many needing deliverance, and if you’ve been struggling with sin then come up and he was going to pray for you. Having struggled all my life with sin I went up. 

There we were all lined up in front from left to right and he started praying. As he walked down the line he was laying hands on the people and they were all falling backwards. I said to the Lord, “Here I am. No games anymore. If this is You Lord I want it all.” I figured God was big enough to knock me down like everyone else, so I kept my eyes open and waited my turn. 

When this man came to me he closed his eyes and laid his hand on my head, but nothing happened. I think he was more surprised than me. Suddenly while I am looking into his eyes he angrily says,” You’re not going to resist me you foul spirit!” And then he stepped into me and literally shoved my head backwards causing me to lose my balance.  I immediately stood up, shook my head in disbelief and went back to my seat. As I walked back to my seat I felt the Lord impressed upon me, “I am your Deliverer, do not look to man.”

I did however have the wisdom to understand God wasn’t telling me to ignore other believers or the gifts He had given them for His glory, but at that point in time He wanted me to seek Him and Him alone. It was there I made a decision to put everything I ever thought about Jesus Christ and Christianity upon God’s altar and to start proving all things afresh in the light of the scriptures. What I discovered shouldn’t surprise anyone, for we all heard it for years; the truth will set you free. For men’s problems are never the truth; it is always their unwillingness to fully surrender to the terms of the Truth.

I wish I could say from that point on everything was better, but the reality for me was like it is for all of us; whether we like it or not there is a war going on and until Jesus Christ returns we are all caught in the middle of it. The adversary has never been content to leave me alone, however he now knows that I know he has truly lost this war and his time is short. Nevertheless, he constantly does what he can out of hatred to God to oppose me, or tries to nudge me a little to the left or right, and when that isn’t working he tries to flatter me. He does anything and everything he can to try and get my eyes off Jesus Christ even for just a moment. Perhaps the closest he ever came to destroying me was using God’s own people as a source of discouragement to me, and with a root of bitterness springing up in me I almost threw in the towel and gave up, but my Jesus didn’t. He saved me.

For the record, I have been a pastor, worked for years volunteering by holding meetings at men’s shelters and Sunday night services at a rehab that was a volunteer/mandatory alternative to jail or prison. I even opened a Christian Coffee shop for a couple of years. Through it all, the heart of my preaching was never that men can escape hell and go to heaven, rather the Gospel message is that through Jesus Christ all men can be what God always intended them to be, a reflection of His glory made fit for the Kingdom of God. For God made us in His image with the desire that we all be His glory in the earth and by the cross, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we can be. 

Honestly, while life has never been easy, it has often been very good. But we have all met those who have had it worse than us. So like I often say, “Life’s not fair, live it none the less.” When people ask what I do for a living every so often I still reply, “I work with wood.” Being a tradesman who has always worked with his hands, I eventually became a building contractor. But while I was fairly proficient at the design and fabrication side of the construction business and ended up doing some pretty high end work, the logistical side never ceased to be a grievance to me with all the red tape and regulations. All that stuff just exasperated a guy who simply loved doing a good job for a fair price. My reputation was built on service and quality, and I thank the Lord for the good work ethic that He worked in me. More than once I sacrificed profit and put money back into the job to get it done right and assure the customer’s satisfaction. I’ve learned the Lord honors the man that keeps his word, even to his own loss or hurt. 

Thanks to the economy, I became a home inspector in the insurance industry. But I must admit at times feeling as if I am a bit outside the calling God had for me… perhaps like a Levite would, who having no earthly inheritance may have felt when they were forced to wander the land looking for a place to provide for their family due to the neglect and poverty God’s house suffered at times. Perhaps that’s part of the consequences of my sins in this life. 

Still, without a doubt one of my greatest pleasures is reasoning the things of God with reasonable people. So please don’t assume the things I share are intended to be dogmatic statements that I am right and everyone else is wrong. Rather I openly share my thoughts simply because I believe them to be true and willingly submit them to the scrutiny of other believers. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate those who love me enough to tell me, “Brother, you’re wrong.” But not only tell me I am wrong, but will patiently labor with me while respecting my integrity and convictions till they can show me just where and how I was wrong. Lord knows how much I need such men and women of God in my life, we all do. 

All that said, for the record I did manage to get my GED, so I guess that’s the height of my academic credentials as a Christian author. Perhaps that really means I am still just a carpenter, a guy who occasionally works with wood and still loves to read his bible. But I would like to make one last point about myself, while I agree we will all disagree sometimes and somewhere, I refuse to “agree to disagree” as if that’s somehow a noble thing for believers in Christ. Rather we must all learn to respect the integrity of each other’s convictions and humbly labor together to understand each other if we are going to make any headway towards coming to a unity of faith and a knowledge of the Truth. Remember, even at our best, we all only know in part. That’s why we have each other and need charity… 

Ephesians 4:11 – And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Therefore, until we all meet each other on the other side, live for Jesus Christ the resurrected King of kings!

Stay blessable, on fire, and unburnable,

William Males

NOTE – If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. My email is – Please use subject line: “The Eighth Beast”


Awake, you sleeper! Awake! Arise and make yourself ready! It’s time to put aside those childish pursuits and your endless musing with vanities.  Awake, I say! Do you not realize the time in which you are privileged to live? Now more than ever can the sound of the bridegroom’s coming be heard! Surely, He draws near. 

The need to purify yourself has grown greater as the time allotted has grown shorter. The dark of night has already conquered the eastern horizon as the sun glow fades in the west. The king had long ago sent out His invitation.  He proclaimed to all, “COME!”

Yes, come, and make haste! Do you not know that if you refuse to comply with the King that His anger will be kindled against you? Yet in His longsuffering He still says, “Come! Come to the greatest of all feasts!  There is food, wine, and much song and dance. Joyful dance to celebrate the wedding of all weddings. Come and attend My wedding.”

The bridegroom has long been ready, yet He has patiently waited. He has waited for you!  Arise therefore you sleeper! So much remains for you to do. TODAY you must prepare. Set aside your complacency and strive to mature!  Strive to increase your knowledge and understanding so you may be completely resolved to live your life solely for the King of kings!  Rise up and cast out reservation and hesitation, these are foes that have hindered and killed countless before you. Arise! Answer His call!! 

It is your only reasonable response . . .

“Awake thou that sleepest, arise from the dead, Christ shall give thee light. Awake to righteousness and sin not. For some [of you] have not the [intimate] knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”  (Eph. 6:14, I Cor. 15:34)

The Eighth Beast in Audio

Posted: September 2, 2022 in Shared Thoughts

The Eighth Beast is being converted in an audio version with text available here.

Chapter 18

Posted: August 22, 2022 in Shared Thoughts
Is America Missing in Prophecy?
Two Play options – This Plays Whole Chapter
This Plays only 1st Part of 3 Parts

NOTE: This chapter was actually written twenty years ago as a stand-alone article. However, in light of all we have reviewed thus far, it is being included here in hopes it will now serve as a lasso to help pull together much of what we’ve covered to provide a solid answer to the question above and the one below.

We hear it all the time, “Isn’t it amazing that the scriptures are silent about America?” I once thought the same thing myself, but after prayerful re-examination of the history of America and scripture, I don’t believe that is true anymore. Therefore, I submit the following for those open enough to examine for themselves whether or not America is mentioned in scripture. Though, I admit nowadays with the rising flood of endtime theologies, it is getting harder to convince most people that it is. As Mark Twain once said, “It is easier to fool someone than it is to convince them they have been fooled.” Likewise, it has been proven over and over again, that the greatest hindrance to people accepting the truth is a prejudice, or verdict against it before they fully hear a matter.

He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and a shame to him.” (Proverbs 18:13)

I must first start by asking that you please do not hastily jump to the wrong conclusion that I am anti-America for writing this article. I have written it out of conviction and simply because I believe that a holy and righteous God must deal with the sins of America the same way He would with any nation. The supporting information provided in this article is only a fraction of the information available and even this tends to be overwhelming for most people when first considering this concept. So, let’s begin with this verse –

Revelation 17:9 – And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Revelation chapters 13-19:4, speak of an end-time’s judgment of the LAST in a succession of seven empires now being summed up in the last days as a final eighth empire. Though these chapters begin with concentrating on a seven-headed “beast rise up out of the sea,” the primary focus of this prophecy is that last empire which the angel eventually clarified as being “The Eighth,” that goes into perdition, or total annihilation. In order to gain understanding of whom or what the eighth spiritual Babylon might be, one must first give heed to the clues given to John by the angel in chapter 17.

One critical clue given to John concerning this succession of empires was when the angel said the “the beast that was, and is not, yet is.” This clue reveals there would be an interruption in this succession of what could be called “spiritual Babylons” represented on this seven-headed beast; a time when this beast “was not” going to be represented in history by a literal country. However, after an unstated duration of time, the beast system would again briefly exist as the seventh head, or seventh empire. Lastly, it would “rise up out of the sea” as that final and last beast, or empire, which would fulfill all these prophecies. Thus, the whole imagery of a “seven-headed beast” is designed specifically to expose that last, eighth, and final empire that “goeth into perdition,” or complete annihilation.

The “sea” from out of which the beast rises up, and upon which the woman sits, we are told in 17:15 represents “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” This is one of the verses in this chapter that leads many to conclude that this beast and/or the woman upon the beast is the Roman Catholic Church since Rome has established itself in every corner of the earth. Regardless, I am persuaded this symbolic beast with the woman is a multifaceted-representation and must be recognized as demonstrating a succession of specific political entities or nations, as well as their particular religious institutions.

I believe this clue given by the angel also reveals to us that having a knowledge of Israel’s history is a critical key required if the door of understanding is going to be unlocked concerning just who this Eighth Beast is, as well as who is the woman shown to later be riding upon it. Only from there can a firm foundation for understanding be built from which we can properly discern the correlation of each of these empires to Israel. For scripture and history corroborates that Israel, like the beast, “was, and was not, and yet is.” That is not in any way to suggest Israel is either the beast or the woman, rather to substantiate the correlation between the seven-headed beast and Israel. Nevertheless, we can see in scripture where Israel is “spiritually called Sodom and Egypt,” (Revelation 11:8).

The majority of the Jews rejected Jesus and the purpose of His crucifixion, which was evident by their continuance in the Mosaic Law. By Jesus having fulfilled the Law, meaning the Ceremonial Law’s official intent was now exhausted, having accomplished its purpose, which was to strongly emphasize and foretell the necessity of a perfect sacrifice, with the shedding of blood, for redemption and forgiveness of sins. The law, with its various actions through its mandatory sacrifices and oblations, altogether served only as a prophetic disclosure of the final and complete sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Therefore, by rejecting Jesus’ death and atoning blood, the Jews defiantly chose to remain in a now dead and decaying institution, and having completed its purpose, was rapidly waxing old and ready to vanish away, .

Hebrews 8:13 – In that He saith, A new covenant, He has made the first old. Now that which is decaying and waxing old is ready to vanish away. 

For this reason, Israel is now “spiritually called Sodom” to signify how any manner of religion they now practice can be nothing more than a perversion of the truth since they lack both the temple and priesthood which were destroyed for their rejection of their Promised Deliverer, Jesus the Christ. Likewise, Israel is “spiritually called Egypt” to signify that without Jesus’ atonement they remain under the bondage of sin and death.

Another key point to remember is that the subject of Revelation chapters 13-16 is the rise and fall of the final Eighth Beast and the introduction of the woman sitting upon it. When the judgment foretold starts to fall upon them, the beast and the woman become synonymous in chapters 17-19. This is conceivably due to a legal arrangement and thus (though perhaps unwittingly) a spiritual covenant that joins them inseparably, comparable to the covenant of marriage whereby two are made one flesh in the eyes of God. Such is why the angel tells John, “I will show you the judgment of the great whore that sits on many waters” and “I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her.” The angel’s clue to this “mystery” reveals how the woman and the beast consent to unite and thus merge together as one to war against God and His holy people in these last days.

The woman, representing false religions all throughout history, will in the last days be greatly exemplified in the leaders of pseudo-Christianity and their followers. These are those who have prostituted themselves with the Eighth Beast for political and economic reasons, and willfully diluted the teachings of Christ in order to maintain their influence and power over the ignorant.

I know this might be difficult for many to receive, since for many it is just the way it has always been. But Christians need to honestly reconsider how their churches and faith-based organizations in America have willfully agreed to submit to government oversight in exchange for their tax-exempt status. Many have assumed it was mandatory, but it’s not. But people forget that government will always imply, take, and keep all authority you allow it. And so the blind compliance of America’s former religious leaders has set a precedence that now compels others to blindly follow in their tracks. The nearsighted wisdom of these carnally minded church leaders, who thought it was all going to remain profitable and benign, has in reality proven it all to be malignant and powerfully advantageous to Satan. For we are now witnessing the end of his strategy as he begins to try and exercise his authority about what can be “legally” taught from the pulpits and must be performed in church sanctuaries, i.e., sanctioning homosexual marriages. 

Similarly, the beast’s seven heads prophetically represent seven actual empires, each with their particular false religious system which are all but a disguise for Luciferianism, or the worshipping of fallen angels and demons, with each empire having its time of direct interaction with the nation Israel. And another clue the angel gives John is “here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.” This is where many began to talk about the Seven Hills of Rome and want to apply all this to Catholicism. However, the Holy Spirit saw to it that the word was translated “mountains” and not “hills,” and continued clarifying with “There are seven kings, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come.”

Both biblically and historically we can accurately verify six of these seven mountains with their seven kings, as six distinct and literal empires that have had a direct impact on the nation Israel, which at the time of John’s vision was still intact as a nation. Mentioning that fact makes this a suitable time to recall the clues given by the angel that the beast “was, and is not, and yet is,” and concerning these kings the angel also clearly told John that at that time “five are fallen, and one is.”

It is actually rather simple to determine who these six empires are. Clearly, the sixth one existing at the time was Rome. As prophesied through Daniel, Rome “had great iron teeth: it devours and breaks into pieces, and stamps the residue with the feet of it and was diverse from all the beasts that were before it.” Thus, it was Rome that fulfilled God’s promise of judgment against Israel, as was forewarned in Deuteronomy 28, for the Jews not cleaving unto Him and obeying His voice. Therefore, in 70 A.D. Israel had ceased to exist as a functioning nation. Just like the beast, Israel which “was,” soon became an “is not” as the Roman General Titus was obliged to execute God’s judgment upon them when he was unable to negotiate peace with the stiff neck and rebellious Jews. 

By recognizing that the seven heads of the beast are intended to represent seven empires which have a direct correlation with the nation Israel, all we have to do to verify their identity is to simply start with the birth of Israel to see who these empires are.

We will start our review with Joseph who was betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave, only to end up sitting on a throne in Egypt. While out of jealousy his brothers meant it for evil, God meant it for good. For through this brotherly betrayal came the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham; to make his descendants a mighty nation and give them for an inheritance the land of Canaan.

However, after 400 years the Egyptians grew fearful of the multiplication of the Jewish settlers in their land and therefore enslaved them. Through all of this it was God’s intent to show both the Jews and the Egyptians the greatness and the surety of His word, and to date God is still showing it to the entire world. As a result, Egypt is head number one of the beast, for out of it Israel as a nation was born.

Many years later, after the death of King Solomon, his son Rehoboam was confronted by Jeroboam who represented the ten northern tribes. Jeroboam had come to petition Rehoboam to lower the high taxes which his father Solomon had placed upon them. Rehoboam first sought the tried and proven wisdom of “the old men that stood before his father… But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him,” (1 Kings 12). The result of Rehoboam walking in their ungodly counsel was a division of the nation Israel.

Having revolted, the ten northern tribes made Jeroboam their King. However, Jeroboam soon became concern that, “If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of the people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah… Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, it is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”

Jeroboam’s sin of turning the people to idols brought God’s judgment upon them by His rising up Assyria to take the ten northern tribes of Israel into captivity. Making matters worse, in their captivity they continued rejecting God’s commandments and intermarried with the Assyrians. Losing the purity of their heritage as Hebrews they became the despised Samaritans. Thus, the ten northern tribes were lost, not by misplacement, but rather by forfeit of their pure identity as Hebrews. Consequently, Assyria is the second head of the Beast.

Over two hundred years later we see Judah to the south falling into idolatry and committing whoredoms against God, so she too was carried away captive by Babylon for seventy years. So, Babylon becomes the third head of the beast. In Daniel 8:20-21, we see the two empires to follow Babylon prophesied by the angel Gabriel would be the Medes/Persia Empire and Greece: heads number four and five of the Beast. So, at the time of the Apostle John’s vision the five that had fallen were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medes/Persia, and Greece, the sixth head being Rome which destroyed Israel as a nation.

From Israel’s destruction in 70 A.D. and prior to 1948, maps did not recognize any land as “Israel,” for Israel “which was, was not.” Yet faithful to His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God preserved their descendants and gathered them back to the land of their inheritance. Thus, today the whole world beholds Israel “that was, and is not, yet is” today. Therefore, as it has been with Israel, so has it been with the seven-headed beast.

Now what worked to re-establish Israel as a nation (apart from God’s sovereignty) was a near global sympathy for the Jews after their persecution in World War II, whereupon at that time, the land was still recognized as part of the British Empire.

History tells us that while Britain was willing to allot a portion of land for Jewish settlers, they did not want to relinquish control or possession of the land. After the Jews increasing frustration with England and Arabs, on December 1st, 1947, the Arab Higher Committee proclaimed a three-day strike as Arab bands began attacking Jewish settlements. The Jews, initially being placed on the defensive as war broke out against them, quickly moved to the offensive and prevailed, gaining control and occupancy of more land. At which point England conceded and (under international pressure) gave the land to the Jews so they could once again be a people and a nation.

Now this all may seem to be all good and well on England’s part, except God requires that a gift must be given cheerfully and of one’s free will if it is to be acceptable and thus blessed by Him. Otherwise, it is not a true gift of charity. Therefore, England, who did not cheerfully choose to bless the descendants of Abraham with a free will offering, ultimately forfeited the blessing of God. This can be seen in that though Britain and its allies were ultimately victorious in the war, the Empire rapidly began to decline.

India and Pakistan gained their independence in 1947, and in 1948 King George the VI abandoned the title Emperor of India. In 1949 Ireland formally declared it a republic and left the Commonwealth. In 1950 India became a republic and King George adopts the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. Through all this, King George the VI was afflicted with health issue to which he succumbs and died in 1952. Thus, it is historical fact that George VI, King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, lived only four short years after the rebirth of Israel, only to be succeeded by his elder daughter, Elizabeth. England, therefore, governing the land of Israel’s rebirth, is the seventh head of which prophecy predicted, “when he cometh, he must continue a short space,” (Rev. 17:10).

Revelation 17:11 – And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Rising up out of the sea comes the Eight Beast, which we are told is “of” or from, the seven. Could this mean that the Eight Beast is a mixture “of” the seven heads or empires, a great melting pot of cultures? For in it are “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Or does “of the seven” refer to it being a direct descendant or offspring “of the seventh” empire? Either way, we find America alone as the Cinderella for this glass slipper, for she is both a land of immigrants as well as the offspring of England. Remember, Revelation 13-16 is about the rise and fall of the Eight Beast that goes into perdition, and in chapter 17 we are given clues to help clarify who is the eighth by giving us a progression of empires.

So I ask, what was it that catapulted America to the place of global supremacy she had held for a long time? Was it not the same thing that set the stage for the decline of the British Empire and the rebirth of Israel, World War II?

Now then, if this Eighth Beast could in fact be America, it obligates us to reconsider a section of scripture that has constantly been applied to an individual. For in Revelation 13:3 where we see the Eighth Beast received a wound to one of its heads “as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” How then do we connect this to America if verses 1-3 have actually been speaking of an empire and not an individual as many interpret it?

Knowing some are being painfully forced to set aside their long-held beliefs here, I seriously proposed the possibility this wound to the head, from which the beast amazingly recovered, was Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, a historical event which significance keeps resurfacing. It was the attack on Pearl Harbor that rallied the people of America into one mind to go to war, thus we entered WWII. Despite Japan’s fury, speed and might, Pearl Harbor somehow survived the attack and was able to defend itself, though suffering great loss of life and resources.

But recall now how the war ended, with the dropping of The Bomb on Hiroshima and the second bomb on Nagasaki. Such display of power was never before witnessed. It could fittingly be asserted that the posture of the whole world was, “Who is like unto the beast?” and “Who is able to make war with Him?”

How did these things come to pass? In his vision John beheld “another beast coming up out of the earth and he had two horns of a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast.” This second beast whose appearance is like a lamb (having two horns) and SEEMS to be for peace is that person who, “exercises ALL the authority of the first.” If the first beast “from the sea” is America, then this second beast from “the earth,” would be none other than the office of the Presidency. Though seeming to be for peace, his mouth is really promoting the agenda of the dragon, “… and he does great wonders, so that he makes fire, come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,” (verses 11-13).

Upon having ascended to a position of global supremacy, American presidents soon began asserting their power and meddling in the affairs of other sovereign nations under the guise of peaceful intentions. Regimes fell, and puppet leaders through American backing rose to power to assist an agenda that surpasses the greedy intent of mere men, for it is clear that “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority”

Since President George H. W. Bush Sr. postured America against Israel by proposing “land for peace,” every president since has continued to assert the right for a Palestine State to exist, and the necessity for Israel to forfeit its covenanted land. As lambs supposedly laboring in the name of peace, these American presidents and statesmen have relentlessly pressured Israel with the threat of losing American support if they fail to comply with imposed mandates against them under the banner of “peace talks.” Now read again the fate of the Eighth Beast from Revelation 13-18, and honestly ask yourself, who fits this better than America?

The Woman on the Beast

At the revelation of the rise of the Eighth Beast in Revelation 13:1, initially we can see there is no mention of a woman sitting upon the beast at the time of its ascension to “his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Chapters 14 and the beginning of 15 speak solely of the iniquities of the beast and the rest of chapter 15 and 16 speak of the judgment that would befall it. This vision so overwhelmed the Apostle John, that in chapter 17 we see the angel comes to him to clarify all he had seen, and then continues to reveal how God’s judgment would surely come upon both the beast and the apostate religious system which would be riding the beast into the end of history. Thus, chapters 18 and 19 speak of the absolute destruction of the beast and woman, while also proclaiming the praise and glory given to God for all His righteous judgments.

When the Eighth Beast rises to its might in Revelation 13 there seems to be a respectful separation between the beast, (the civil system) and the woman, (the religious system) as the woman is not mentioned, perhaps representing a separation between church and state. BUT, in order for the civil government to do what it is prophesied to do in the last days and initiate a new joint identification and economic system, it will need the support of the religious sector, or faith-based organizations, to assure that such a new system is benign and ok with God, hence in chapter 17 the woman now rides the beast.

Foolishly, churches in the mainstream religious system have subjected themselves to be fully regulated by the beast’s system in exchange for their tax-exempt status. Hence these dead religious churches will feel obliged to assure their congregants that the implementation of the new identification mark that the beast says is necessary for the restructured economic system is not the damnable “mark of the beast.” This will not be difficult for the whoring daughters of Babylon to do, for having perpetuated so many false end time doctrines they have only “waxed worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” and now openly celebrate their joyful embracement of clear damnable heresies and moral atrocities.

Our adversary has spewed out of his mouth a flood of false end time messages and lying doctrines that he might cause the true Church to be carried away with the flood of error that is rampant in today’s churches which are seeking to serve men and mammon rather than God; sacrificing God’s truth for increased attendance lest they offend their contributors.

Revelation 12:15 – And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

Now, we know from the scriptures that God has always had His civil and spiritual leaders, so likewise the devil imitates this structural order in his attempt to defeat God’s people; hence the beast and the woman who rides it. Because of their greed for power and filthy mammon in these final days they will selfishly merge and become “one” in heart and purpose.

Remember, no one can serve both God and mammon.

Plays 2nd Part of 3


The following is a compilation of interesting quotes and points in history deserving of your attention and consideration:

 An excerpt from President Roosevelt’s speech after the Pearl Harbor attack:

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan . . . As Commander in Chief of the army and navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victoryWith confidence in our armed forces-with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God…”

Considering President Roosevelt’s expressed confidence in “the American people in their righteous mightthat they will surely “win through to absolute victorydue to “our armed forces-with the unbounding determination of our people,” I am compelled to ask just what does the word of God say about one who boasts in the strength of their flesh? Some may wish to immediately object and demand the direction of my attention to President Roosevelt’s inclusion of “so help us God…”

But I must simply point out that nowhere did he express his confidence to be in either God’s righteousness or His might, as if they were the foundation and strength whereby the American people through their unwavering faith in God would surely overcome their enemies. No, this short inclusion of “so help us God,” has actually been the last four words attached to many threats of revenge by proud and indignant people. Perhaps those who are more patriotic and loyal to their country than they are concerned about the kingdom of God, or even their own personal godliness, to such President Roosevelt’s speech may well have sounded sufficiently religious enough by his employing such phrases as “righteous might” and “so help us God.” But in truth, an honest critique exposes the usage of these phrases for what it was, the white-washing declaration for the successful implementation of a strategic agenda that was designed to rally the citizenry of America to not only support a foreign war effort, but to create a patriotic willingness among them to send their fathers, husbands, and sons into it as well. Can anyone say 9/11?

So, again I am asking, just what does the word of God say about one who boasts in the strength of the flesh?

Jeremiah 17:5 – Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 

It is interesting, and so I must make note here, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt suddenly died nearly three and a half years after making this famous speech and therefore did “not see when good cometh” at the conclusion of the war. I say nearly, because if we use the Julian calendar, it was only 3 years, 4 months, and 4 days excluding the end date. However, scripture reveals God calculates time differently, using both the solar and the lunar cycles. One solar cycle was an approximate biblical year which was adjusted periodically with an extra month approximately seven times during nineteen solar cycles. The biblical months varied between 29-30 days based upon the lunar cycle which fluctuates and therefore the months average out to approximately 29.5 days. Since it was a total of 1,221 days duration from President Roosevelt’s speech to his death, we can simply divide that time and see it was a duration of 41.39 biblical months, or 42 months according to the Jewish tradition of counting time, that any whole measure of a unit of time with a partial measure of a following, would be counted as two. Such as a period of thirty hours would be counted as two days. Perhaps even more interesting is the timing of President Roosevelt’s death which actually occurred on the New Moon of April 12, 1945.

Revelation 13:5 – And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Obviously, my studies have brought me to the conclusion that America is this eighth and final beast. For who cannot see that America “the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” The tsunami of evil deception in America continues to rise with a flood of sorcery, paganism, Wicca, false cults, blatant corruption, wickedness, immorality, disobedience to parents, hate groups, etc., etc.

Also, I do acknowledge that there are many studious believers which earnestly believe the Catholic Church is the beast and harlot system. However, she fails to meet the full criteria of the plurality of “seven kings, five of which have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must continue a short time.” For it is evident that the beast is always referenced in the masculine with its kings.  We simply must recognize both as separate entities, civil and religious, church and state, that join forces in an unholy union for a final ride into perdition. 

Nevertheless, the Catholic Church is undoubtedly part of the spirit of this whorish woman who rides the beast; but it is not the beast itself. Furthermore, the Catholic Church has been a hoarder of wealth, but not a distributor of it. For where, or when, could we apply to the Catholic Church how “the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies?” Or “Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness!?”

How does one apply this to the Vatican? – “Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”

“Sorceries” implies witchcraft, or the calculated manipulation of men’s wills to consent to sin. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,” (1 Samuel 15:23). It is evident that America’s leaders have failed to embrace God’s word and have refused to be subject unto Him. Rather they have continually tried to exalt themselves higher and higher while constantly seeking to manipulate both the minds and wills of the people that they might control them, and so further the agenda of the dragon.

There are many other things that have worked together to strongly persuade me that America is the Eighth Beast. There are specific details and events in our founding history that have been suppressed from public awareness but are still openly evident, too many to thoroughly disclosed here. However, there are the Masonic symbols on our currency, government buildings, as well as the curious layout and design of certain parts of District of Columbia which virtually mirrors some aspects of the Vatican in Rome. 

The designation “District of Columbia” can accurately be rephrased the “Realm of the control of the Queen of Heaven,” referencing the goddess Columbia. Columbia has also been worshipped through history and regions of the world under the names, Isis, Semiramis, Ishtar, Diana, Artemis, Ashtoreth, Astarte, and Libertas.  It is not mere coincident that the Statute of Liberty has mimicking aspects to many of these female pagan idols.

Plus, there are specific details that have been made public under the Freedom of Information Act concerning various memorandums, discussions, military exercises, and other various events that have exposed covert efforts of the American government to manipulate situations so as to assure our involvement in WWII, and ultimately those events that led to the ending of the war.

Americans had for the most part become isolationists after World War I,  having virtually no interest for any interference or involvement in foreign wars. According to a pre-war Gallup poll, 88 percent of Americans were solidly opposed to any involvement in the rapidly expanding European war. It was this temperament of Americans that was successfully exploited by President Roosevelt while campaigning, as he promised over and over again, “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” As a result, he won the election.

However, as early as 1940, a code clerk at the U.S. embassy in London had discovered secret communications between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill revealing a strong determination on Roosevelt’s part to engage America in the war. Unfortunately for the clerk he was caught trying to smuggle some of the documents out of the embassy. Consequently, he was charged with obtaining documents that “might be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy” and in a secret British court was convicted and therefore confined to a British prison until the war ended. The clerk’s name was Tyler Gatewood Kent.

On October 7, 1940, A memorandum from Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence, advocated eight specific actions that were deemed suffice to provoke Japan into attacking the United States. In it the Commander wrote, “If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better.” Consequently, President Roosevelt over the following year enacted all eight of McCollum’s recommendations.

Later in January 1941, President Roosevelt’s close advisor, Harry Hopkins, met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and informed him, “The President is determined that we [the United States and England] shall win the war together. Make no mistake about it. He has sent me here to tell you that at all costs and by all means he will carry you through, no matter what happens to him – there is nothing he will not do so far as he has human power.” 

March 1941, President Roosevelt sold munitions and convoyed them to belligerents in Europe, both acts of war and both violations of international law; specifically, the Lend‑Lease Act.

June 23, 1941, Advisor Harold Ickes wrote in a memo to President Roosevelt the day after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, “There might develop from the embargoing of oil to Japan such a situation as would make it not only possible but easy to get into this war in an effective way. And if we should thus indirectly be brought in, we would avoid the criticism that we had gone in as an ally of communistic Russia.” 

July 25, 1941, President Roosevelt froze all Japanese assets in US cutting off their main supply of oil, forcing them into war with the United States while all intelligence information was withheld from Hawaii from this point forward.

August 14, 1941, At the Atlantic Conference, Prime Minister Churchill noted the “astonishing depth of Roosevelt’s intense desire for war.” Consequently, Churchill cabled his cabinet “(President Roosevelt) obviously was very determined that they should come in.”

October 16, 1941, Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote in his diary, “We face the delicate question of the diplomatic fencing to be done so as to be sure Japan is put into the wrong and makes the first bad move – overt move.” 

October 18, 1941, Diary entry by Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes: “For a long time I have believed that our best entrance into the war would be by way of Japan.”

November 25, 1941, Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote in his diary that FDR said an attack was likely within days, and presented the question, “How we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without too much danger to ourselves. In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese be the ones to do this so that there should remain no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who were the aggressors.” Thus, Stimson made another entry that day stating, “The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot…” 

November 26, 1941, an ultimatum was sent to Japan’s ambassadors demanding as prerequisites to resumed trade a complete withdrawal of all troops from China and Indochina, and in effect abrogate her Tripartite Treaty with Germany and Italy.

Therefore, we can see why in 1944, British Minister of Production, Oliver Lyttleton stated, “Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war.”  

In his 1948 biography, “Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History,” Robert Sherwood wrote, “If the isolationists had known the full extent of the secret alliance between the United States and Britain, their demands for the President’s impeachment would have rumbled like thunder through the land.” 

All this being noted is in no way an attempt to deny or excuse Japan’s ferociousness in its war efforts, for there can be no excusing their heinous actions against the people and government of China and Indochina. However, as Christians, we must not allow ourselves to be so blindly patriotic that we willfully shut our eyes to the truth that the American government, as an aggressor, intentionally provoked Japan to blame them and to get involved in the war. For prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Roosevelt administration froze Japan’s assets in America, restricted them from use of the Panama Canal, ceased vital exports which were necessary to Japan’s war efforts, and ultimately joined Britain in an all-out embargo.

So, again I ask, “How did these things come to pass?” True to the Apostle John’s vision, there is “another beast” that came “up out of the earth; and he had two horns of a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast.” History proves that though this second beast had the appearance as like a lamb and claimed to be for peace, he was really promoting the agenda of the dragon. For over and over President Roosevelt promised the American people, “I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” Nevertheless, it was the President of America who authorized “…great wonders, so that he makes fire [that is, The Atomic Bomb], come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” 

I admit that initially for years I only casually researched this, but was stunned when I ran across The Frank Report of June 11, 1945. It is a “Memorandum on Political and Social Problems of the Bomb by scientists at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago, Manhattan Project.” This report was written for delivery to President Truman, who inherited the “Project” after President Roosevelt died.

However, President Truman never received this letter before giving the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. That is because Secretary of War Mr. Stimson had intercepted it. In regard to bombing decisions on Japan he is documented as stating, “This is one time I’m going to be the final deciding authority. Nobody’s going to tell me what to do on this.”


“The President never received the letter, and all the scientists’ initiatives were frustrated because of the opposition of Byrnes, Groves, Oppenheimer, and other policy makers and scientists in control of the nuclear program.”


The following is “Dwight Eisenhower’s expressed view on using the Atomic Bomb”

“In 1945… Secretary of War Stimson visited my headquarters in Germany, [and] informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act . . . During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and second because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’ The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude, almost angrily refuting the reasons I gave for my quick conclusions.”

Here is perhaps the most startling excerpt from “The Franck Report” that was signed by the top scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project. 

All of us, familiar with the present state of nucleonics, live with the vision before our eyes of sudden destruction visited on our own country, of a Pearl Harbor disaster repeated in thousand-fold magnification in every one of our major cities.” (See the Franck Report:

A thorough reading of the Franck Report will show just how President Truman and other government leaders rejected the counsel of the wise, just like Rehoboam rejected the wisdom of his father’s counsellors when he was asked by Jeroboam to lower the taxes. After the scientists realized their letter had not been delivered, they wrote a second petition to President Truman, from which the following excerpt was taken. 

“The war has to be brought speedily to a successful conclusion and attacks by atomic bombs may very well be an effective method of warfare. We feel, however, that such attacks on Japan could not be justified, at least not unless the terms which will be imposed after the war on Japan were made public in detail and Japan were given an opportunity to surrender.”

“If such public announcement gave assurance to the Japanese that they could look forward to a life devoted to peaceful pursuits in their homeland and if Japan still refused to surrender, our nation might then, in certain circumstances, find itself forced to resort to the use of atomic bombs. Such a step, however, ought not to be made at any time without seriously considering the moral responsibilities which are involved.”

“The development of atomic power will provide the nations with new means of destruction. The atomic bombs at our disposal represent only the first step in this direction, and there is almost no limit to the destructive power which will become available in the course of their future development. Thus, a nation which sets the precedent of using these newly liberated forces of nature for purposes of destruction may have to bear the responsibility of opening the door to an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale.


To read these solemn warnings that were given to President Truman, and to think he rejected their counsel is horrifying. Even General MacArthur, who was leading the war against Japan, petitioned strongly against the use of the bomb. He didn’t even know there was such a bomb until 48 hours before the first one was dropped. Upon being made aware he bitterly objected to its usage, stating the war was over. It was just a matter of negotiating the surrender, so as to allow the Japanese people to save face because they were a proud (honorable) people.

Still, or perhaps regardless, President Truman was the one who ordered the “fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” Now listen to the righteous judgment of God, “If any man has an ear, let him hear. He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword [or weapon of war,] must be killed with the sword, [or the same weapon of war].”

Revelation 18:8 – Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. 9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”

Russia and China are not America’s only threats, but rather sincere concern needs to be given to all the European and Middle East nations. People might laugh, but I will simply remind them what the Bible says, the ten horns . . . shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”

Some have argued there isn’t a national army over there big enough, (at least not at the time of the original writing of this in 2002.) However, the initial formation of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) was headed up by a German General. Didn’t Germany contribute greatly to the start of the two World Wars? And remember the scriptures clearly state, “…the ten horns which thou saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will…”

And what will be the lure of Satan dragging men to war again? Money and power of course. We in America are rapidly falling headlong into an Electronic Identification and Electronic-Cash-Credit-Debit system. As far back as 1998 an article in Time magazine predicted one could send their daughter in college E-Cash and she “can store the money any way she wants-on her laptop, on a debit card, even (in the not too distant future) on a chip implanted under her skin. And, perhaps best of all, you can program the money to be spent only in specific ways.”  (Time APRIL 27, 1998 VOL. 151 NO. 16)

Also mentioned in this article in Time was how the “smart card” with an RFID for the E-cash system could ALSO keep your medical history. Wasn’t it President Clinton and his wife Hillary who were trying to get all Americans issued such a card so they could all have medical insurance? Is it really about OUR health and well-being? Or is it really about THEIR wealth and control? And now we have Presidential Obamacare, of which it has been rumored  will eventually require all to have an implantable RFID chip.

Back in 2002 when I first wrote this article, I spoke about how the European Union was rapidly printing out their new “Euros” and ready to begin distribution that year. I commented on how the European Union’s common currency would only prove to add to the conflict of global monetary standards. The Bible says, “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as a high wall in his own conceit” (Proverbs 18:11).

Now, with the current global economic crisis, I am persuaded America will eventually attempt to force upon the European Union (and perhaps parts the rest of the world) a new E-cash credit/debit method of economics…  which I presently suspect the European Union and other nations will deceptively consent to. For again, the ten horns which thou saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

Their deceptive acceptance of America’s proposal (which will most likely be pushed forcefully upon the European Union and other countries with the same arrogance that led to the dropping of the bombs), will only be for the purposes of their buying time to carry out a plan to finally eliminate the competition.

While admittedly I am only speculating as to why and how the ten horns/kings “receive power as kings one hour with the beast,” it nevertheless remains a biblical fact that “God has put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled… these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will.” 

Last and Final Part

Further points worthy of prayerful consideration: 

Evidence that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a crime against International Law

Title: PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN POPULATIONS AGAINST BOMBING FROM THE AIR IN CSSE OF WAR – Unanimous resolution of the League of Nations Assembly,

Dated: September 30, 1938

To: The Assembly,

Considering that on numerous occasions public opinion has expressed through the most authoritative channels its horror of the bombing of civilian populations;

Considering that this practice, for which there is no military necessity and which, as experience shows, only causes needless suffering, is condemned under the recognized principles of international law;

Considering further that, though this principle ought to be respected by all States and does not require further reaffirmation, it urgently needs to be made the subject of regulations specially adapted to air warfare and taking account of the lessons of experience;

Considering that the solution of this problem, which is of concern to all States, whether Members of the League of Nations or not, calls for technical investigation and thorough consideration;

Considering that the Bureau of the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments is to meet in the near future and that it is for the Bureau to consider practical means of undertaking the necessary work under conditions most likely to lead to as general an agreement as possible:

  1. Recognizes the following principles as a necessary basis for any subsequent regulations:
    1. The intentional bombing of civilian populations is illegal;
    2. Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military objectives and must be identifiable;
    3. Any attack on legitimate military objectives must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations in the neighborhood are not bombed through negligence;
  2. Also takes the opportunity to reaffirm that the use of chemical or bacterial methods in the conduct of war is contrary to international law, as recalled more particularly in the resolution of the General Commission of the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments of July 23rd, 1932, and the resolution of the Council of May 14th, 1938

(Documents located at: &


Appeal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aerial Bombardment of Civilian Populations, September 1, 1939 –

The President of the United States to the Governments of France,

Germany, Italy, Poland and His Britannic Majesty, September 1, 1939

The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.

If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic conflagration with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives. I am therefore addressing this urgent appeal to every government which may be engaged in hostilities publicly to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents. I request an immediate reply.  FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

(Documents located at: &


President Truman’s Speech, August 9, 1945:

In a radio speech to the nation on August 9, 1945, President Truman called Hiroshima “a military base.” It seems likely, considering his July 25 diary entry, that he personally was not aware that Hiroshima was a city. Otherwise, he was being untruthful about the nature of the target. Truman delivered his speech from the White House at 10 P.M. Washington time on August 9, 1945. By this time, the second atomic bomb had already destroyed the city of Nagasaki. Because of the great length of the speech, most of which dealt with Germany, only the relevant paragraph is quoted here.

“The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. But that attack is only a warning of things to come. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction.”

What does this all mean? It means the bombing of Japan was not only against the counsel of those who developed the bomb; it was also illegal according to international law and contrary to President Roosevelt’s international petition.

U.S. Government and Military Leaders’ Responses To Dropping the Bomb


Harry S. Truman, the President of the United States who ordered the Atomic Bombing:

“This is the greatest thing in history.”



General Henry “Hap” Arnold, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Forces Under President Truman:

“It always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse.”


General Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“I had been conscious of depression and so I voiced to (Sec. Of War Stimson) my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at this very moment, seeking a way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’”


General Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“Japan was at the moment seeking some way to surrender with minimum loss of ‘face’… It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”


Admiral William D. Leahy, Former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

 “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender… My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was taught not to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”


John McCloy:

 “I am absolutely convinced that had we said they could keep the emperor, together with the threat of an atomic bomb, they would have accepted, and we would never have had to drop the bomb.”

NEXT QUOTE – This one just absolutely stunned me:

From President Harry S. Truman’s diary entered July 18, 1945 – just 17 days before the bombing of Hiroshima:

“P.M. Churchill & I ate alone. Discussed Manhattan [PROJECT] (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. of telegram from Japan Emperor asking for peace.”


Stewart L. Udall, US Congressman and Author of “Myths of August”

 “Some of my conclusions may invoke anger and even ridicule. For example, I offer my belief that the existence of the first atomic bombs may have prolonged – rather than shortened – World War II, by influencing Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and President Harry S. Truman to ignore an opportunity to negotiate a surrender that would have ended the killing in the Pacific in May or June of 1945. And I have come to view the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that August as an American tragedy that should be viewed as a moral atrocity.”


From: U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey’s 1946 Study:

 “Certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”


J. Samuel Walker, Chief Historian, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

 “Careful scholarly treatment of the records and manuscripts opened over the past few years has greatly enhanced our understanding of why Truman administration used atomic weapons against Japan. Experts continue to disagree on some issues, but critical questions have been answered. The consensus among scholars is the that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan… It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisers knew it”


1995 – Nagasaki Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima:

“It was a matter of course for atomic bombs to have been dropped on Japan, which had launched a war of aggression. Japan does not have the right to criticize the atomic bomb.” for Kyodo News’s interview. He is also quoted as saying, conversely, that the bombing was “one of the two great crimes against humanity in the 20th Century, along with the Holocaust”


March 16, 1995 – Los Angeles Times 

Heading: Japanese Mayors Call A-Bomb Attacks a Crime

Underscoring a wide “perception gap” between Japan and the United States, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Wednesday sharply challenged the prevailing U.S. view that the nuclear attacks on their cities were necessary to end World War II.

Nagasaki Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima called the attacks “one of two great crimes against humanity in the 20th Century, along with the Holocaust.” Although he conceded that the attacks helped hasten the war’s end–a concession Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka refused to make–he questioned the price.

“Does avoiding the death of servicemen justify the sacrifice of tens of thousands of guiltless noncombatants?” Motoshima asked, pointing out that the bombs indiscriminately killed men, women and children. “This is tantamount to killing a flea with a sledgehammer. It can hardly be called a justified act, even in wartime.”

The bombs, dropped in August, 1945, killed and injured 130,000 people in Hiroshima–almost half the city’s population–and 74,000 in Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of survivors suffered cancer and other radiation aftereffects.

The mayors, in a joint appearance before foreign correspondents, argued that the United States dropped the bombs mainly to intimidate the Soviet Union, verify the weapons’ effectiveness and justify the $2 billion spent to develop them.


Osama bin Laden, when asked by ABC reporter John Miller-

 “Mister bin Laden, you have issued a fatwah calling on Muslims to kill Americans where they can, when they can. Is that directed at all Americans, [or] just the American military, [or] just the Americans in Saudi Arabia?”

Osama bin Laden’s answer, “…The Americans started it and retaliation and punishment should be carried out following the principle of reciprocity, especially when women and children are involved. Through history, America has not been known to differentiate between the military and the civilians or between men and women or adults and children. Those who threw atomic bombs and used the weapons of mass destruction against Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the Americans. Can the bombs differentiate between military and women and infants and children? America has no religion that can deter her from exterminating whole peoples. …We believe that the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. Nothing could stop you except perhaps retaliation in kind. [Therefore] We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian.”


Shocking I know, and very uncomfortable to hear and consider these things. Doubtless many are so angry at seeing Osama bin Laden being quoted that they have nearly forgotten all the quotes of the American leaders who likewise were offended by America being the first to make use of The Bomb.

Sin is sin whoever commits it, be they American, Arab, Christian, Jew or Muslim. However, in light of all this, please consider afresh what God has stated in regards to the use of weapons and His judgments –

“If any man have an ear, let him hear, He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword [or whatever weapon of war] must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints,” (Revelation 13:9).

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man [or nation] soweth, that shall he [or it] also reap,” (Galatians 6:7)

Let us therefore give more earnest heed to Jesus’ admonition, “Watch therefore, praying in every season that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things which shall occur, and to stand before the Son of man,” (Luke 21:26).


Posted: September 23, 2021 in Shared Thoughts

By E. M. Bounds

“Of course, the preacher is above all others distinguished as a man of prayer. He prays as an ordinary Christian; else he was a hypocrite. He prays more than ordinary Christians else he was disqualified for the office he has undertaken. If you, as ministers are not very prayerful, you are to be pitied. If you become lax in sacred devotion, not only will you need to be pitied but your people also, and the day comes in which you will be ashamed and confounded. Our seasons of fastings and prayer at the Tabernacle have been high days indeed; never has heaven’s gate stood wider; never have our hearts been nearer the central glory.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Preachers are God’s leaders. They are divinely called to their holy office and high purpose, and primarily, are responsible for the condition of the Church. Just as Moses was called of God to lead Israel out of Egypt through the wilderness into the Promised Land, so also does God call His ministers to lead His spiritual Israel through this world unto the heavenly land. They are divinely commissioned to leadership, and are by precept and example to teach God’s people what God would have them be. Paul’s counsel to the young preacher Timothy is in point: “Let no man despise your youth,” he says, “but be an example of the believers, in word, conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

God’s ministers are used of God to shape the Church’s character, and give tone and direction to its life. The prefacing sentence of the letter to each of the seven churches in Asia reads, To the angel of the Church, seeming to indicate that the angel, or  minister, was in the same state of mind and condition of life as were the membership, and that these angels or ministers were largely responsible for the spiritual condition of things existing in each Church. The angel in each case was the preacher, teacher, or leader.

The first Christians knew full well and felt this responsibility; and as this tremendous responsibility pressed upon their hearts and heads, in consciously felt helplessness they cried out, “Who is sufficient for things?” The only reply to such a question was, “God only.” So, of necessity they were compelled to look beyond themselves for help, and to throw themselves on prayer to secure God. More and more as they prayed, did they feel their responsibility, and more and more by means of prayer did they obtain God’s help; and thereby experienced that sufficiency which alone is of God.

Prayer belongs in a very high and important sense to the ministry. It takes vigor and elevation of character to administer the prayer-office. Praying prophets have frequently been at a premium in the history of God’s people. In every age the demand has been for leaders in Israel who pray. God’s watchmen must always and everywhere be men of prayer.

It ought to be no surprise for ministers to be often found on their knees seeking divine help under the responsibility of their call. These are the true prophets of the Lord, and these are they who stand as mouthpieces of God to a generation of wicked and worldly-minded men and women. Prayer preachers are boldest, the truest and the swiftest ministers of God. They mount up highest and are nearest to Him who has called them. They advance more rapidly and in Christian living are most like God.

In reading the record of the four evangelists, we cannot but be impressed by the supreme effort made by our Lord to rightly instruct the twelve Apostles in the things which would properly qualify them for the tremendous tasks which would be theirs after He had gone back to the bosom of the Father. His solicitude was for the Church that she should have men, holy in life and in heart, and who would know full well from whence came their strength and power in the work of the ministry. A large part of Christ’s teaching was addressed to these chosen Apostles, and the training of the twelve occupied much of His thought and consumed much of His time. In all that  training, prayer was laid down as a basic principle.

We find the same thing to be true in the life and work of the Apostle Paul. While he addressed himself to the edification of the churches to whom he ministered and wrote, it was in his mind and purpose to rightly instruct and prepare ministers to whom would be committed the interests of God’s people. The two epistles to Timothy were addressed to a young preacher, while that to Titus was also written to a young minister. And Paul’s design appears to have been to give to each of them such instruction as would be needed to rightly do the work of the ministry to which they had been called by the Spirit of God. Underlying these instructions was the foundation-stone of prayer, since by no means would they be able to show themselves approved unto God, workmen that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, unless they were men of prayer.

The highest welfare of the Church of God on earth depends largely upon the ministry, and so Almighty God has always been jealous of His watchmen, His preachers. His concern has been for the character of the men who minister at His altars in holy things. They must be men who lean upon Him, who look to Him and continually seek Him for wisdom, help, and power to effectively do the work of the ministry. And so, He has designed men of prayer for the holy office, and has relied upon them successively to perform the tasks He has assigned them.

God’s great works are to be done as Christ did them; that is, they are to be done, indeed, with an increased power received from the ascended and exalted Christ. These works are to be done by prayer. Men must do God’s work in God’s way, and to God’s glory, therefore prayer is a prerequisite to its successful accomplishment.

The thing far above all other things in the means and equipment of the preacher is prayer. Before everything else, he must be a man who makes a specialty of prayer. A prayerless preacher is a misnomer. He has either missed his calling, or has grievously failed God who called him into the ministry. God wants men who are not ignoramuses, who study to show themselves approved. Preaching the Word is essential, and social qualities are not to be underestimated, likewise education is good: but under and above all else, prayer must be the main plank in the platform of the man who goes forth to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to a lost and hungry world. The one weak spot in our Church institutions lies just here. Prayer often is not properly regarded as being the primary factor in church life and activity, and regrettably other things, though good in their appropriate places, have been made primary. First things need to be put first, the best before the good, and the first thing in the equipment of a minister is prayer.

Our Lord is the pattern for all preachers, and, with Him, prayer was the law of life. By it He lived. It was the inspiration of His toil, the source of His strength, the spring of His joy. With our Lord prayer was no sentimental episode, nor an afterthought, nor a pleasing, diverting prelude, nor an interlude, nor a parade or form. For Jesus, prayer was exacting, all-absorbing, paramount. It was the call of a sweet duty to Him, the satisfying of a restless yearning, the preparation for heavy responsibilities, and the meeting of a vigorous need. This being so, the disciple must be as his Lord, the servant as his Master. As was the Lord Himself, so also must be those whom He has called to be His disciples. Our Lord Jesus Christ chose His twelve Apostles only after He had spent a night in praying; and we may rest assured that He sets the same high value on those He calls to His ministry, in this our own day and time.

No feeble or secondary place was given to prayer in the ministry of Jesus. It comes first  emphatic, conspicuous, controlling. Of prayerful habits, of a prayerful spirit, given to long solitary communion with God, Jesus was above all else, a man of prayer. The crux of His earthly history, in New Testament terminology, is condensed to a single statement, to be found in Hebrews 5:7:

“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.”

As was their Lord and Master, whose they are and whom they serve, so let His ministers be. Let Him be their pattern, their example, their leader and teacher. Much reference is made in some quarters about following Christ, but it is confined to the following of Him in modes and ordinances, as if salvation were wrapped up in the specific way of doing a thing. The path of prayer Thyself has trod, is the path along which we are to follow Him, and in no other. Jesus was given as a leader to the people of God, and no leader ever exemplified more the worth and necessity of prayer. Equal in glory with the Father, anointed and sent on His special mission by the Holy Spirit, His incarnate birth, His high commission, His royal anointing, all these were His; but they did not relieve Him from the exacting claims of prayer. Rather did they tend to impose these claims upon Him with greater authority. He did not ask to be excused from the burden of prayer; He gladly accepted it, acknowledged its claims and voluntarily subjected Himself to its demands.

As His leadership was preeminent, His praying was preeminent. Had it not been, then neither His leadership had been preeminent nor divine. If, in true leadership, prayer had been dispensable, then certainly Jesus could have dispensed with it. But He did not, nor can any of His followers who desire effectiveness in their Christian activity than follow their Lord’s leadership in fulfilling their calling.

While Jesus Christ practiced praying Himself, being personally under the law of prayer, and while His parables and miracles were but exponents of prayer, He labored directly to teach His disciples the specific art of praying. He said little or nothing about how to preach or what to preach. But He spent His strength and time in teaching men how to speak to God, how to commune with Him, and how to be with Him. He knew full well that he who has learned the craft of talking to God, will be well versed in talking to men. We may turn aside for a moment to observe that this was the secret of the wonderful success of the early Methodist preachers, who were far from being learned men. But with all their limitations, they were men of prayer, and they did wonderful things for God.

All ability to talk to men is measured by the ability with which a preacher can talk to God for men. He who ploughs not in his closet, will never reap in his pulpit.

The fact must ever be kept in the forefront and emphasized that Jesus Christ trained His disciples to pray. This is the real meaning of that saying, “The Training of the Twelve.” It must be kept in mind that Christ taught the world’s preachers more about praying than He did about preaching. Prayer was the great factor in the spreading of His Gospel. Prayer conserved and made efficient all other factors. Yet He did not discount preaching when He stressed praying, but rather taught the utter dependence of preaching on prayer.

The Christian’s trade is praying, declared Martin Luther. Every Jewish boy had to learn a trade. Jesus Christ learned two, the trade of a carpenter, and that of praying. The one trade subserved earthly uses; the other served His divine and higher purposes. Jewish custom committed Jesus when a boy to the trade of a carpenter; and the law of God bound Him to praying from His earliest years, and remained with Him to the end.

Christ is the Christian’s example, and every Christian must pattern after Him. Every preacher must be like his Lord and Master, and must learn the trade of praying. He who learns well the trade of praying masters the secret of the Christian art, and becomes a skilled workman in God’s workshop, one who needs not to be ashamed, a worker together with his Lord and Master.

Pray without ceasing, is the trumpet call to the preachers of our time. If the preachers will get their thoughts clothed with the atmosphere of prayer, if they will prepare their sermons on their knees, a gracious outpouring of God’s Spirit will come upon the earth.

The one indispensable qualification for preaching and teaching is the gift of the Holy Spirit, and it was for the bestowal of this indispensable gift that the disciples were charged to “tarry in Jerusalem.” The absolute  necessity there is for receiving this gift, if success is to attend the efforts of their ministry, is found in the command the disciples received to stay in Jerusalem till they received it, as well as with the instant and earnest prayerfulness with which they sought it. In obedience to their Lord’s command to tarry in that city till they were endued with power from on high, they immediately, after He left them for heaven, entered on securing it by continued and earnest prayer. These all with one accord, continued steadfastly in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brethren. To this same thing John refers in his First Epistle. you have an unction from the Holy One, he says. It is this divine unction that preachers of the present day should sincerely desire, pray for, and remain unsatisfied till the blessed gift be likewise richly bestowed upon them.

Another allusion to this same important procedure is made by our Lord shortly after His resurrection, when He said to His disciples: And you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. At the same time Jesus directed the attention of His disciples to the statement of John the Baptist concerning the Spirit, the identical thing for which He had commanded them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem power from on high. Alluding to John the Baptist’s words Jesus said, For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Peter at a later date said of our Lord: God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power.

These are the divine statements of the mission and ministry of the Holy Spirit to preachers of that day, and the same divine statements apply with equal force to the preachers of this day. God’s ideal minister is a God-called, divinely anointed, Spirit-touched man, separated unto God’s work, set apart from secularities and questionable affairs, baptized from above, marked, sealed, and owned by the Spirit, devoted to his Master and His ministry. These are the divinely appointed requisites for a preacher of the Word; without them, he is inadequate, and inevitably unfruitful.

Today, there is no dearth of preachers who deliver eloquent sermons on the need and nature of revival, and advance elaborate plans for the spread of the kingdom of God, but the praying preachers are far rarer and the greatest benefactor this age can have is a man who will bring the preachers, the Church, and the people back to the practice of real praying. The reformer needed just now is the praying reformer. The leader Israel, the church, the family, requires is one who, with clarion voice, will call them all back to their knees.

There is considerable talk of the coming revival in the air, but we need to have the vision to see that the revival we need and the only one that can be worth having is one that is born of the Holy Spirit, which brings deep conviction for sin, and regeneration for those who seek God’s face. Such a revival comes at the end of a season of real praying, and it is utter folly to talk about or expect a revival without the Holy Spirit operating in His peculiar office, conditioned on much earnest praying. Such a revival will begin in pulpit and pew alike, and will be promoted by preacher and lay-man, both working in harmony with God.

The heart is the lexicon of prayer; the life the best commentary on prayer, and the outward bearing its fullest expression. The character is made by prayer; the life is perfected by prayer. And this the ministry needs to learn as thoroughly as the laymen. There is but one rule for both: for the church as well as the family.

So averse was the general body of Christ’s disciples to prayer, possessing so little taste for it, and consequently having so little sympathy with Him in the deep things of prayer and its mightier struggles, that the Master had to select a circle of three more apt scholars Peter, James, and John, who had more of sympathy and relish for this divine work, and take them aside that they might more thoroughly learn the lesson of prayer. Thus, these men were nearer to Jesus, fuller of sympathy, and more helpful to Him because they were more prayerful.

Blessed, indeed, are those disciples whom Jesus Christ, in this day, calls into a more intimate  fellowship with Him, and who, readily responding to the call, are found much on their knees before Him. Distressing, indeed, is the condition of those servants of Jesus who, in their hearts, are averse to the exercise of the ministry of prayer; for God would “that all men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands.

All the great eras of our Lord, historical and spiritual, were made or fashioned by His praying. In like manner His plans and great achievements were born in prayer and impregnated by the spirit thereof. As was the Master, so also must His servant be; as his Lord did in the great eras of His life, so should each disciple when confronted by important crises. “To your knees, O Israel!” should be the clarion-call to all who seek to minister for and unto the Lord of this generation.

The highest form of religious life is attained by prayer. The richest revelations of God Father, Son, and Spirit are made, not to the learned, the great or the noble of earth, but men of prayer. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called, to whom God makes known the deep things of God, and reveals the higher things of His character, but to the lowly, inquiring, praying ones. And again, it must be said, that this is as true of preachers as of laymen, and the fathers as well as the mothers. It is the spiritual who prays, and these praying ones to whom God gives wisdom and strength, and makes His revelations known through the Holy Spirit.

Praying preachers have always brought the greater glory to God, have moved His Gospel onward with its greatest, speediest rate and power. A non-praying preacher and a non-praying Church may flourish outwardly and advance in many aspects of their life. Both preacher and church may become synonyms for success, but unless it rests on a regular  and faithful praying basis, what was gained becomes lost, and all successes eventually crumble into deadened life, forfeiture of peace and strength, and ultimate decay.

You have not because you ask not,” is the solution of all spiritual weakness both in the personal life and in the pulpit. Either that, or it is because “You ask and receive not because you ask amiss.” Real praying lies at the foundation of all real success of life and ministry in the things of God. The stability, energy and facility with which God’s kingdom is established in this world, and the life of every believer, are dependent upon prayer. God has made it so; and so, God is anxious for men to pray. Especially, He is concerned that His chosen ministers shall be men of prayer, and so gives that wonderful statement in order to encourage His ministers to pray, which is found in Matthew 6:9:

“But I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks, receives, and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened.”

Thus, both command and direct promise give accent to His concern that they shall pray. Pause and think on these familiar words of promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you.” That itself would seem to be enough to set us all, laymen and preachers, to praying, so direct, simple, and unlimited. These words open all the treasures of heaven to us, simply by asking for them.

If we have not studied the prayers of Paul, primarily a preacher to the Gentiles, we can have but a feeble view of the great necessity for prayer, and how much it is worth not only in the life and the work of a minister of the Gospel, but for the peace and success in the lives of every believer, great and small. Furthermore, we shall have but a very limited view of the possibilities of the Gospel to enrich and make strong and perfect Christian character, as well as to equip preachers for their high and holy task. Oh, when will we learn the simple yet all important lesson that the one great thing needed in the life of  the preacher and layman, to help them in their personal lives, to keep their souls vibrantly alive to God, and to give efficacy to the Word preached by both, and keep them from temptation and deliver them from evil, is real, faithful, and constant prayer!

Paul, with prayer uppermost in his mind, assures the Colossians that Epaphras is always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand complete and perfect in all the will of God. To this high state of grace, complete in all the will of God, he prays they may come. So prayer was the force which was to bring them to that elevated, vigorous and stable state of heart. This is in line with Paul’s teaching to the Ephesians, “And He gave some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of  the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” where it is evidently affirmed that the whole work of the ministry is not merely to induce sinners to repent, but it is also necessary for the perfecting of the saints. And so Epaphras labored fervently in prayers for this thing. Certainly, he was a praying man, in thus earnestly praying faithfully for these early Christians.

The Apostles put out their force in order that Christians should honor God by the purity and consistency of their outward lives. They were to reproduce the character of Jesus Christ. They were to perfect His image in themselves, imbibe His temper and reflect His carriage in all their tempers and conduct. They were to be imitators of God as dear children, to be holy as He was holy. Thus, even laymen were to preach by their conduct and character, just as the ministry preached with their mouths.

To elevate the followers of Christ to these exalted heights of Christian experience, they were in every way true in the ministry of God’s Word, in the ministry of prayer, in holy consuming zeal, in burning exhortation, in rebuke and reproof. Added to all these, sanctifying all these, invigorating all these, and making all of them salutary, they centered and exercised constantly the force of mightiest praying. Night and day praying exceedingly, that is, praying out of measure, with intense earnestness, superabundantly, beyond measure, exceeding abundantly.

“Night and day praying exceeding abundantly, that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith. Now God himself, and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”

It was after this fashion that these Apostles the first preachers in the early Church labored in prayer. And only those who labor after the same fashion are the true successors of these Apostles.

This is the true, Scriptural apostolical succession; the succession of simple faith, earnest desire for holiness of heart and life, and zealous praying. These are the things today which make both the ministry and family strong, the body and the individual, faithful and efficient, godly workmen who need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing and applying the word of truth.

Jesus Christ, God’s Leader and Commander of His people, lived and suffered under this law of prayer. Know this, all His personal conquests in His life on earth were won by obedience to this law, likewise all the conquests which have been won by His representatives since He ascended to heaven, are gained only when this condition of prayer are heartily and fully met. Christ was under this one prayer condition. His Apostles were under the same prayer condition. His saints are under it, and even His angels are under it. By every token, therefore, preachers are under the same prayer law. Not for one moment are they relieved or excused from obedience to the law of prayer. It is their very life, the source of their power, the secret of their religious experience and communion with God.

Christ could do nothing without prayer. Christ could do all things by prayer. The Apostles were helpless without prayer and were absolutely dependent upon it for success in defeating their spiritual foes. They could do all things by prayer, and such is true for every believer. Pray. Pray earnestly, Pray faithfully. Pray with out ceasing.

America will not be judged…

Posted: September 10, 2021 in Shared Thoughts
May be an image of text that says 'America will notbe be judged. America is under judgment right now.'

What is happening in America, even across the whole world, will not be stopped through the legal system of men, nor prevented by the morals of men, nor by the unity of some men, nor will the righteous prevail through the wisdom or weapons of men. Men must look to and be reconciled to God.

The Bible clearly shows over and over that God has used the undeniably wicked to chastise His own because of their unfaithfulness, that they might repent and be saved, while the wicked and rebellious perish. Furthermore, God has given no rights to those who are unfaithful, nothing to those who refuse to maintain their responsibility to love God with all their heart, soul, and might: nothing to those who choose to ignore and fail to keep His Commandments. Nevertheless, God has pity humanity’s desperate state, and because He is love He has afforded us a Savoir in Jesus Christ, and therefore has commanded all men to repent.

But rights, as everyone perceives them, are but gifts of God given unto those who respond properly to God. Adam only had a right to eat of every tree in the Garden of Eden, except one, because he was given responsibilities by God, “Tend to My garden.” While Adam was responsible, he had a right to eat. But upon his willful disobedience, that right was taken away and he was cast out.

To claim you have rights and yet reject God’s commandments is to be contentious and disobedient to God. What right have you then to any of His blessings? Jesus Himself tells us, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are the dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”

Judgment is a process.

It begins with many warnings, and comes to place where upon failing to be heeded, a shaking of everything that can be shaken takes place. Then, what was done in darkness is brought out to light, and what was said in secret begins to be shouted from the rooftops.

This God does so that, by seeing the deceitfulness of sin, men might learn to hate sin, and might abhor it, turn from it, and consequently yearn for righteousness and seek His face. God does this that men might repent. But repentance is not turning from bad ways, rather a total returning unto God. The first can be done partially without the latter, but not the latter without the first.

So, know this, judgment always precedes the mercy and grace which reconciles men to God; so that mercy might rejoice against judgment. But without our acknowledging the righteous judgment of God, there is a danger of God having judgment without mercy. Therefore, without true repentance, America will simply continue in its present judgment and ultimately come to the dreaded time when it will have to drink the full cup of God’s wrath.

But know this, “Judgment must begin in the House of God,” and we, God’s people in America, are currently in this stage of God’s judgment.

Therefore, I ask you, are you seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? Or are you angry over the abuse and loss of your perceived rights and prosperity? Are you ignorant of, or have you forgotten, that God has said, “Behold, ALL the nations…” including America, “are like a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust  when weighed in the scales; behold, He takes up the coastlands as a very little thing.”

As judgment draws towards its conclusion, Jesus warns that the time also is advancing quickly when “he that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. For behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

Live for the King, it’ll make it easier to die for Him.

What type of Christian are you?

Posted: September 10, 2021 in Shared Thoughts

In the world there have always been basically two types of Christians.

One type has many strong convictions, at least in the beginning. That is basically because when they first hear the Gospel and come to Christ, they seek Him to help them be the kind of Christian they should be. Naturally, He does. His spirit, the Spirit of Truth, begins by opening up and illuminating His word to them, revealing His will as to what is expected of them. Thus, they come under conviction of His Holy Spirit as He begins to expose those subtle things in their lives that are not compatible with His holiness, things contrary to His purpose and will, things therefore which consequently need to be either faithfully embraced or forsaken if they are to continue both to walk with and grow in Him.

1st John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

This Gospel truth reveals the critical “relationship” Christians need to maintain, a holy communion with Jesus Christ and God our Father, which is necessary if we are to walk, live, and worship in the Spirit of Truth. A Christian must be ever purposing to be yielding to God and abiding in Christ as He faithfully endeavors to make us His holy and “peculiar people.”

John 15:4 – Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not [continue to] be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

1st John 1:3 – That which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

At first, there is usually a noble attempt to do the right thing, but because many have not truly surrendered fully to Christ, He can’t empower them so as to have victory over their sin, for they are not in truth wanting to “abide in” Him. For if He did empower them, it would in truth be disregarding their freewill, because in their hearts, having an affection still for the things of the world, they don’t really want to resist all the temptations in their lives. These are just like those who followed Christ only because He fed them with the bread and fish, and were willing to have Him as a King over them as long as He would continue to do so, but did not however want to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. No, their hearts actually want to continue in their ways and be sustained by Him. They believed in Him, but in truth did not have faith in Him else they would have loved Him.

John 6:14 – Then seeing the miracle that Jesus did, those men said, “This is truly the Prophet, the One coming into the world.” 15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they would come and take Him by force, that they might make Him a king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain alone by Himself… 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek Me not because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for that food that perishes, but for that food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man will give you. For God the Father sealed Him.”

In all this we can see the purpose why temptation is allowed in our lives; it serves to prove to oneself the trueness of their heart. We see this with Adam in the garden, for as long as he did not eat of the forbidden tree, he could know his love was faithful and true towards God. But by his choosing to eat the forbidden fruit, it revealed how his love for God could be deceived, and thus lessened and corrupted, and directed towards something or someone else. But did Adam fully understand all this at that moment, or did his eyes and carelessness allow him to be distracted and ensnared?

Even though these first type of Christians are convicted, like Adam they are distracted by the world and easily drawn back to their sins; for in truth, they do not believe their sins are deadly and therefore do not really want to give them up, at least not all. Therefore, being double minded, if they do not recognize the danger they are in, with time they will either completely fall away from Christ, or they will adjust their faith and just as the Pharisees did, they will merely become vainly religious. Like Adam, do you think they fully understood all this at that moment, or did their hearts and eyes and carelessness allow them to be so distracted and fatally ensnared? For such believers begin to simply justify themselves by comparing themselves to others, with those who they deem to be worse than they are. Without true faith and faithfulness, they will spend their life away arguing about doctrine, deceiving themselves that what they know will one day save them.

1st Corinthians 4:1 – Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2  Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.

Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by [or receiving into the heart] the word of God.

Romans 14:23 – For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

James 2:19 – You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble. 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

These types of Christians are always in a struggle with their commitment, and thus will often try to negotiate with God by giving their time and money to noble causes or deeds; but what they do is done only in a vain hope of reaching a compromise with God. Such believers often make commitments to their church to oversee something for a season in a vain effort to show their seriousness and to prove their faith; but what they do is of their own will and choosing, not of the Spirit, right only in their own eyes, and not of faith.

But here is where we will now leave the struggling Christians and reflect upon the other type of Christians, the ones with true faith, the overcomers. The ones with true faith understand the truth where the Apostle John warned them to be not deceived; “He that sins is of the devil, and he that works righteousness is righteous even as He [Jesus] is righteous.”

Because God’s word is hid in their heart, they cannot consent to sin because they understand what an offense it is to the Holy Savior. Therefore, having looked unto Christ they can resist temptation, because coming to and abiding in Him, they are faithfully empowered by His Spirit and made to be overcomers of all pressures and temptation the world throws at them. This is always done at a cost to themselves, for Jesus warned them that they cannot be His disciples unless they choose to pick up their own crosses and follow Him. He makes this requirement because it is the only way He can fully restore their souls. But this restoration will take them down the path of righteousness winding through a dark valley haunted by the Shadow of Death, their death. God does this because He must tear down what is corrupt in them if He is to restore their souls aright, which requires their confessions and forsaking of sins, true repentance, an absolute trust and surrender to the Lord. Those who do such can only do so by that type of faith which compels them to lay hold of salvation, and is evident because it strives for consistency, perseveres, and works by love for the fulfilling of the will of their Redeemer.

They understand they were once dead in their trespasses and sins, so now they wholly trust Him, knowing that not only has He given them life, but that He is in truth their very life. They understand that to trust and obey Him is the only way to the realization and fulfillment of those exceeding great and precious promises to them of becoming partakers of His divine nature. Thus, they walk in the light just as He is the very author and means of that life; therefore, they have holy fellowship with their Father and Savior. Their hearts are settled and hence resolved to give heed to the purifying of their souls by obeying His truth, which is possible only through the empowerment of His Spirit within them. This is both believing unto salvation [justification] and working out salvation [sanctification]. These Christians, though always fully capable of yielding to sin, nevertheless purposely out of love for God and others now walk with conviction of righteousness and not under the condemnation of sin.

Sadly, Jesus said there were going to be many, many more of the first type of Christians. Those who will be found guilty of taking His name in vain. For scripture plainly say that they who call themselves Christians “ought to walk even as He walked.” These Christians are only “overcomers” in that they have overcome the conviction of sin; for while professing Christ as Savior they remain, or are entangled again, in sin because their conscience has been so seared it permits them to freely continue in doing what is right in their own eyes, and doing so they willfully sin. Not all go back into the moral depravity of their past lives, many, because of religious pride, simply become pharisaical and continue in the vanity of a religion of their own governance. Having chosen such over the truth, they continue to ignore that Jesus came, died, and rose again so that He might save them from their sins, quicken them, and make them new creatures. But how, if they will not let Him save them from their sins, can He truly save them from their sin’s reward of death and hell?

The latter Christians are indeed very few, Jesus said so. That is because they understand The Gate is a strait, and not straight. It is a path fraught with dangers whereby they must always be clothed with the armor of God and yielded to the commands and orders of the Captain of their Salvation. They understand He alone knows the narrow path that leads to eternal life, and being His sheep, they have learned to trust His voice as the Great Shepherd of their souls. Thus, they have tuned their ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches and will be overcomers of both their carnal nature and adversary. Why? Because they have come to love God with all their heart, mind, and strength, and have experienced through all their hardships that He is indeed able to sanctify them wholly, so that their whole spirit and soul and body might be preserved blameless unto the coming of their Lord, Jesus Christ. He is faithful.

So, which kind of Christian are you?

Jude 1:24 – Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion, and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Yes, it all seems planned…

Posted: August 23, 2021 in Shared Thoughts

Duties of Fellowship

Posted: April 10, 2021 in Shared Thoughts

The book, originally titled by John Owen as “Eshcol,” has before been presented under the title of “Duties of Christian Fellowship.” Yet once again, it is being presented under the same title, as it was designed to present the whole Christian family those sound scriptural precepts from God’s word , or “rules” as Owen’s refers to them, on the subject of ecclesiastical fellowship and discipline.

The first part contains seven rules, which address the duties of members of a church towards their pastor. In the second part there are fifteen rules presented to the people of God on their duties to one another. It is of such a nature as to be applicable and useful under any form of ecclesiastical polity or denomination; as each rule is established from a body of evidence taken from Scripture, and followed with a general explanation attended by reasonable motives whereby the people of God ought to so live thereby.

The fact that there exist several editions of Owen’s “Eshcol” under many formats,  one cannot but wonder at its favorable reception with the religious public. Truly, it is a remark­able work of Owen which reveals his deep piety and sound judgment, which is presented to the reader in a simple rational arrangement, supported by a comprehensive knowledge of Scripture. Unquestionably, due to its sound foundation from God’s word, “Duties of Christian Fellowship” constructs a much-needed manual on church-fellowship, which to this day has yet to be surpassed.

This book written by John Owen, has so blessed me, that I edited it and attached the scriptures reference herein for the convenience of those who have a desire to help their church grow scripturally, and would also like to learn how to minister to each other effectually to the glory of their Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Simply click here to go to the book.



“Jesus closes His life with inimitable calmness, confidence, and sublimity. I have glorified Thee; I have finished the work which Thou gave Me to do. The annals of earth have nothing comparable to it in real security and sublimity. May we too come thus to our end, in supreme loyalty to Christ.” ~ Edward Bounds ~

We do well to consider our Lord’s Sacerdotal Prayer, as found recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John’s Gospel.

Obedience to the Father and abiding in the Father, these belong to the Son, and these belong to us, as partners with Christ in His Divine work of intercession. How tenderly, and with what pity, and how absorbingly does He pray for His disciples! “I pray for them; I pray not for the world.” What a pattern of prayerfulness for God’s people! For God’s people are God’s cause, God’s Church and God’s Kingdom. Pray for God’s people, for their unity, their sanctification, and their glorification. How the subject of their unity pressed upon Him! These walls of separation, these alienations, these riven circles of God’s family, and these warring tribes of ecclesiastics, oh how Christ is torn, and bleeds and suffers afresh at the sight of these divisions among His saints! Unity, that is the great burden of that remarkable Sacerdotal Prayer. “That they may be one, even as We are one.” The spiritual oneness of God’s people, that is the heritage of God’s glory to them, transmitted by Christ to His Church.

First of all, in this prayer, Jesus prays for Himself, not now the suppliant as in Gethsemane, not weakness, but strength now. There is not now the pressure of darkness and of hell, but passing for the time over the fearful interim, He asks that He may be glorified, and that His exalted glory may secure glory to His Father. His sublime loyalty and fidelity to God are declared, that fidelity to God which is of the very essence of interceding prayer. Devoted lives pray; for unswerving loyalty to God are eloquent pleas to Him, and give access and confidence in Christ our advocacy. This prayer is gemmed, but its walls are adamant. What profound and granite truths! What fathomless mysteries! What deep and rich experiences do such statements as these involve:

And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.

Let us stop and ask, have we eternal life? Do we know God experimentally, consciously, and do we know Him really and personally? Do we know Jesus Christ as a person, and as a personal Saviour? Do we know Him by a heart acquaintance, and know Him well? This, this only, is eternal life. And is Jesus glorified in us? Let us continue this personal inquiry. Do our lives prove His divinity? And does Jesus shine brighter because of us? Are we opaque or transparent bodies, and do we darken or reflect His pure light? Once more let us ask: Do we seek God’s glory? Do we seek glory where Christ sought it? “Glorify Thou Me with Thy own self.” Do we esteem the presence and the possession of God our most excellent glory and our supreme good?

How closely does He bind Himself and His Father to His people! His heart centers upon them in this high hour of holy communion with His Father.

I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gave Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gave them Me; and they have kept Thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee. For I have given unto them the words which Thou gave Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them; I pray not for the world; but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them.

He prays also for keeping for these disciples. Not only were they to be chosen, elected, and possessed, but were to be kept by the Father’s watchful eyes and by the Father’s omnipotent hand. “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.”

He prays that they might be kept by the Holy Father, in all holiness by the power of His Name. He asks that His people may be kept from sin, from all sin, from sin in the concrete and sin in the abstract, from sin in all its shapes of evil, from all sin in this world. He prays that they might not only be fit and ready for Heaven, but ready and fit for earth, for its sweetest privileges, its sternest duties, its deepest sorrows, and its richest joys; ready for all of its trials, consolations, and triumphs. “I pray not that Thou should take them out of the world, but that Thou should keep them from the evil.

He prays that they may be kept from the world’s greatest evil, which is sin. He desires that they may be kept from the guilt, the power, the pollution, and the punishment of sin. The Revised Version makes it read, “That Thou should keep them from the evil one.” Kept from the devil, so that he might not touch them, nor find them, nor have a place in them; that they might be all owned, possessed, filled, and guarded by God. “Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

He places us in the arms of His Father, on the boom of His Father, and in the heart of His Father. He calls God into service, puts Him to the front, and places us under His Father’s closer keeping, under His Father’s shadow, and under the covert of His Father’s wing. The Father’s rod and staff are for our security, for our comfort, for our refuge, for our strength and guidance.

These disciples were not to be taken out of the world, but kept from its evil, its monster evil, which is itself. “This present evil world.” How the world seduces, dazzles, and deludes the children of men! His disciples are chosen out of the world, out of the world’s bustle and earthliness, out of its all-devouring greed of gain, out of its money-desire, money-love, and money-toil. Earth draws and holds as if it was made out of gold and not out of dirt, as though it was covered with diamonds and not with graves.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Not only from sin and Satan were they to be kept, but also from the soil, stain, and the taint of worldliness, as Christ was free from it. Their relation to Christ was not only to free them from the world’s defiling taint, its unhallowed love, and its criminal friendships, but also from the world’s hatred which would inevitably follow their Christlikeness. No result so necessarily and universally follows its cause as this. “The world hath hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

How solemn and almost awful the repetition of the declaration, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” How pronounced, radical, and eternal was our Lord Christ’s divorce from the world! How pronounced, radical, and eternal is that of our Lord’s true followers from the world! The world hates the disciple as it hated his Lord, and will crucify the disciple just as it crucified his Lord. How pertinent the question, have we the Christ unworldliness? Does the world hate us as it hated our Lord? Are His words fulfilled in us?

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

He puts Himself before us clear cut as the full portraiture of an unworldly Christian. Here is our changeless pattern. “They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.” We must be cut after this pattern.

The subject of their unity pressed heavily upon Him, for note how He called His Father’s attention to it, and see how He pleaded for this unity of His followers:

 “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.

Again, He returns to it as He sees the great crowds flocking to His standard as the ages pass on:

That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gave Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one. I in them and Thou in Me that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”

Notice how intently His heart was set on this unity. Yet what shameful history, and what bloody annals has this lack of unity written for God’s Church? These walls of separations, these alienations, these riven circles of God’s family, these warring tribes of men, and these internecine fratricidal wars! He looks ahead and sees how Christ is torn, how He bleeds and suffers afresh in all these sad things of the future. It is the unity of God’s people that is to be the heritage of God’s glory promised to them. Division and strife are the devil’s bequest to the Church, a heritage of failure, weakness, shame, and woe.

The oneness of God’s people was to be the one credential to the world of the divinity of Christ’s mission on earth. Let us ask in all candor, are we praying for this unity as Christ prayed for it? Are we seeking the peace, the welfare, the glory, the might, and the divinity of God’s cause, as it is meant to be found in the holy unity of God’s people?

Going back again, note please how He puts Himself as the exponent and the pattern of this unworldliness which He prays may possess His disciples. He sends them into the world just as His Father sent Him into the world. He expects them to be and do, just as He was and as He did for His Father. He sought the sanctification of His disciples that they might be wholly devoted to God and purified from all sin. He desired in them a holy life and a holy work for God. He devoted Himself to death in order that they might be devoted in life to God. For a true sanctification He prayed, a real, whole, and thorough sanctification, embracing soul, body and mind, for time and eternity.

With Him the word itself had much to do with their true sanctification. “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth. And for their sake I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified by the truth.

Entire devotedness was to be the type of their sanctification. His prayer for their sanctification marks the pathway to full sanctification. Prayer is that pathway. All the ascending steps to that lofty position of entire sanctification are steps taken in prayer, with increasing prayerfulness in spirit, and increasing prayerfulness in fact. “Pray without ceasing” is the imperative prelude to “the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.” And prayer is but the continued interlude and doxology of this rich grace in the heart: “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calls you, who also will do it.

We can only meet our full responsibilities, and fulfill our high mission, when we go forth sanctified as Christ our Lord was sanctified. He sends us into the world just as His Father sent Him into the world. He expects us to be as He was, to do as He did, and to glorify the Father just as He glorified the Father.

What longings He had, longings to have us with Him in Heaven: “Father, I will that they also whom Thou has given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory which Thou has given Me.” What response do our truant hearts make to this earnest, loving, Christly longing? Are we as eager for Heaven as He is to have us there? How calm, how majestic, and how authoritative is His “I will!

Christ closes His life with inimitable calmness, confidence, and sublimity. “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gave Me to do.” The annals of earth have nothing comparable to it in real serenity and sublimity. May we come to our end Thus, in supreme loyalty to Christ.

Written by E. M. Bounds

There is no question that God is mystical, for even scriptures confirms “great is the mystery of godliness.” But even greater than the mystical aspect of God, which exist only because of our own ignorance as finite beings, is the absolute Majesty of God. Over thirty years ago, after one of several major times of failings in my faith(fulness), God established a precept of faith in my life concerning faith, which has a sure foundation in His majesty and no footing in the mystical. The consequence of this revelation caused me to coin the phrase, “God is not mystical, He is majestic.”

Of course, many have rebuffed my comment, asking me if I think I fully know God and understand all His ways, to which of course I readily admit that I do not.  However, my comment was not stated with the wide spectrum with which the word “mystical” can be used, but primarily with the way it is most commonly used in these latter times whereby the unholy leaven of the New Age has been encroaching in upon the purity of the holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. For many understand mystical, or mystic, in the since of magical; not too differently than they understand sorcery and witchcraft. This “mystical” is the willful desire and attempt to manipulate the normal by “supernatural” means; through the use of chantings, spells and performance of certain rituals.

Many might think no such thing is happening within Christendom, but you would truly be surprise how many “obey the word” only to try and get what they want, instead of their obedience being a true delighting to do the will of God.

Psalm 40:8 – I delight to do Your will, O my God. Yea, Your law is within my heart.

Psalm 119:16 – I will delight myself in Your statutes: I will not forget Your word.

Psalm 119:47 – And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I have loved.

Many “believers,” who are “ever learning” and never able to “come to a knowledge of the truth,” religiously say their prayers not too differently from those who do their mystical chantations, and close their prayers saying “in Jesus name.” as if it is the “cadabra” completing their “abracadabra.” They use Jesus name as a thing, and not as a sure testimony of their faith in His majestic authority and power over all things in their lives.

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that would come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

It is here alone where the faith of the Christian can rest secure and unshakable, in God’s absolute majesty, as well as in His holy character. For we are told in scripture that God is love, God is good, God is long-suffering, God is patient, God is all powerful, God’s mercies are as high as heaven, God is holy, and ultimately, that He is perfect in righteousness, rewarding those who properly and diligently seek Him. We are repeatedly taught and shown in scripture that we can be certain that the Judge of the whole Earth shall surely do that which is right concerning all things and all people.

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

This is the confidence of our faith, even when we do not understand the mysterious workings of the Lord. He alone is a holy and righteous God, who by His word discerns the very intent and motive of every heart, be it angelic or human; and in his Providence overrides the plans of the foolish for the eternal benefit of His own glory and creation.

Scripture assures mankind that God will purge the world of all evil, for evil is a temporary thing that cannot abide for eternity. Evil is not always wickedness, otherwise the scriptures would not mention how at times God purposed to do evil toward His own people.

Jeremiah 26:3 – If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

Evil is simply intent or performance of will, or the necessary action of a holy God, which are contrary to God’s preferred will. With men, it is their electing to do evil, even if it is “right and their own eyes.” With God, it is the administration of His righteous judgment. God will and must reward the contrary actions of men’s thoughts and actions, and conclude, or end all that is contrary to his Holiness and preferred will.

Jeremiah 24:6 For I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

Jeremiah 42:10 – If you will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.

It is God’s preferred will that no man perishes, and God clearly states He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Such is why we are told not only to “be holy,” but also to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord,” for “without Holiness no man shall see God.”

Those that God has discerned to be righteous or evil of the world will be treated by Him very similarly the way our bodies treat that which we consume. For the most part, our digestive systems remove that which is beneficial for the strength and building up of the body, and that which cannot contribute to the body’s well-being is expelled as waste. Such is why the Bible says there is a difference between the wheat and the chaff, as well as the reference in Isaiah where God clearly says concerning his enemies, that He will ease Himself, which clarification from Deuteronomy.

Isaiah 1:24 – Therefore says the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, “Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge Me of Mine enemies.”

Deuteronomy 23:12 – You shall have a place also without the camp, where you shall go forth abroad:  13 And you shalt have a paddle upon your weapon; and it shall be, when you ease yourself there, you shall dig therewith, and turn back and cover that which came from you. 14 For the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore, your camp shall be holy, that He see no unclean thing in you and turn away from you.

These verses are intended to give mankind clear warning that the time is coming when God will forever ease Himself by removing from His holy presence all who would not faithfully be assimilated into His Kingdom. Such is the purpose of His majestic great white throne of judgment; for the Lord has stated He will reward both the righteous and the wicked according to their works and make both a new heaven and a new Earth wherein only the righteous can dwell. Such wording warns that there indeed is a pit called hell for the wicked to be shunned.

Romans 2:4 – Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, [they have only God’s] indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

It is not in the mystical things pertaining to God, but in all His divine attributes, whereby we are to learn and see that He is indeed wholly worthy of all glory, honor, power, and praise. For it is evident that God so loved the world in that He gave us His only begotten Son, that we all might be saved from our sin, and not merely delivered from hell. Hell is the righteous consequence of sin remaining in us, and heaven the reward for whosoever truly believes Him, and not just “in” Him; with the distinction being the surrendering of their lives to Him, serving Him for who He is, and trusting that He will do all He has promised to do. Those who so do alone have the surety of God’s word of being saved from the wrath to come. This is the truth that sets men free, and if Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed. Go with purpose to sin no more while trusting only in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

How can anyone think all this is not the greatest testimony of God’s grace and His mercies? Again, such as why we are told we must be holy, for without holiness no man shall stand before God on favorable terms. Absolutely, our holiness is founded alone upon the atoning blood of Jesus Christ who died for our sins, but our holiness is then to be perfected, or made complete through faith. True holiness is evident by works of righteousness, which alone brings forth fruit unto holiness; and holiness has its promised end, everlasting life. There is no other foundation that can be laid for the salvation of man, and we are all warned to take heed how we build upon that foundation. God gave us His Son to forgive us for our sins with the purpose and intent that we should become partakers of His divine nature.

Romans 6:22 – But now being made free from sin and have become servants to God, you now have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

John 8:31 – Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, “If you continue [abide] in My word, then are you My disciples indeed. 32 And [then] you shall [truly] know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 15:7 – If you abide [continue] in Me, and My words abide [continue] in you, you may ask what you will and it shall be done for you. 8 Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit [abound in holiness]; for then you shall be My disciples.

So, I ask the following for your honest and prayerful consideration, are you trusting only in the omnipotent Majesty and wisdom of God who has afforded all mankind such a bounty of His mercy and grace? Or are you foolishly hoping that, somewhere in the mystical aspects of godliness, you will not be found to be abiding among the worthless chaff instead of with the wheat?

You must choose to follow Christ, and that requires you to pick up your own cross and deny yourself, if you are to truly be one of His disciples. For a disciple is one who endeavors to live under the discipline of his Master and chooses not to do what is right in their own eyes. Therefore, we must acknowledge our own nearsighted wisdom, the vanity of our emotions and appetites, and follow Jesus Christ in the light of His words. Knowing the certainty of eternity, where will you spend yours?

You must be born again. You must become a new creature. You must be holy. To be such you must purposely co-labor with God’s Holy Spirit and put on Christ. You must learn how to “obey the truth through the Spirit” if Christ is ever going to truly acknowledge that the kingdom of God was indeed in you. You need an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches if you are going to be among the overcomers in Christ. The overcomers have the yea and the amen of God’s promises in Christ.

Are you fighting the fight of faith? Are you running the race as if only one person can win it? Are you seeking to complete that for which God created you? Are you striving to accomplish the purposed for which you were saved? Are you acknowledging His promise that in Jesus Christ all is afforded to you, both the wherewithal and instructions to finish the unique work He has chosen you to do? No one is born into this world without a divine calling and purpose whereby they can serve God and truly be His delight; wherein He will Joy over them with singing and resting eternally in His love for them.

So, do you have His Spirit within you? For Christ in us is our only hope of glory, and if any do not have the Spirit of Christ in them, they are not His. To be a Christian is like being six months pregnant, you know something is growing in you, and there is a joyful anticipation that a new life will soon burst forth.

1 John 3:24 – They that keep His commandments dwell in Him, and He in them. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.

Please, consider what manner of person you are, and the direction you have been living your life. Are your eyes set on eternity and heavenly things, or on the worldly here and now things? For know this, those who have true faith and trust in the King of Glory will purposely live for the glory of the King. Is this you?

Everybody enjoys hearing about how “Jesus is a God of love,” and undeniably many sermons entitled “God is love” have brought much needed comfort to the heart of the truly repentant. Nonetheless, while these statements are certainly true, as believers we must remember that they are not complete statements of truth. An unwavering truth is that God is no respecter of persons and sometimes the holiness and righteousness of God requires a change in His posture with individuals, a concept some believers have a hard time believing. But consider the following two verses.

“And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it,” (Deuteronomy 28:63).

“After the number of the days in which ye searched the land . . . ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise,” (Numbers 14:34).

Certainly, God is a God of love, yet in Rev. 2:6 Jesus said “. . . this thou hast that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.” Again in Proverbs it says, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among the brethren.” Now, I am not trying to present God as a God of hate, just establish the fact that God is capable of hate.

If God’s people are to have true intimacy with Jesus Christ, coupled with a righteous boldness (not a religious cockiness), then we need a basic understanding of God’s precepts. Jesus conditionally told His disciples, “IF ye continue in My word, THEN are ye My disciples indeed; (THEN) ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:31, 32). Jesus was not referring to the truth as certain “facts” which could liberate them. The truth He was referring to was Himself. Jesus said “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). Jesus Christ is the polestar of all truth. If we are going to be “set” free then it is Jesus Christ personally who we must seek to know, not just mere biblical and historical facts. For “if the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

While God is perfect in the administration of His love, the Bible does say He still “judgeth the righteous, and is angry with the wicked every day,” (Psalm 7:11). It is this foundational precept that gives us understanding as to why, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” (Proverbs 1:7, 9:11).

Proverbs 8:13 says “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: [therefore] pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth do I hate.” Proverbs 16:6 says “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” Therefore, if believers are to live harmoniously with God they must strive to live according to the scriptures, “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We must abhor sin and all unrighteousness, no matter how slight it’s deviation from the truth, for “ALL unrighteousness is SIN,” (I John 5:17). This at times is very hard to do since we are often so easily deceived by the pleasures of sin. Of course, this certainly does not mean we are to be hating “sinners,” but rather the sin that has found root in their lives and hearts as if it were hell’s own death grip on them.

To further clarify the attributes of “God’s love” a contrast needs to be made between our natural humanistic “love” and God’s “righteous love.” Humanistic love (due to man’s fallen nature) is both erratic and temperamental. It changes with circumstances or emotions and often ceases without any apparent reason other than loss of interest. Humanistic love rarely subscribes to logic and when found to be so; it is only aligned with the laws of God out of coincidence and not truly governed thereby. When shaken and unsettled, it usually can only be tranquilized by a self-favorable compromise.

Humanistic love usually has a high toleration of sin in another when something desirable for self might be obtained, or else their sins may not likewise be tolerated. If there is no personal profit to be had, then the response is usually judgment and criticism. “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these not having a law, are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another” (Romans 2:14,15).

Contrary to fallen man’s own love, the love of God is not governed by His emotions, but is directed by His righteousness. This is clearly seen in Matthew 23:37, “0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often I would have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolate.” Had God’s love been controlled and subject to emotions, He would have forgiven everybody. He would have gathered them (with all their wickedness) unto Himself whether they repented or not. But God’s love transcends emotions and is founded in holiness and truth.

Likewise, our emotions are God given and can work for good when they’re used correctly as the expressions of our hearts and not the rulers of our lives. Paul instructed the Corinthians saying “the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they have none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possess not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” Certainly Paul wasn’t forbidding marriage any more than he forbidding us to weep or rejoice. Rather, he was warning us not to allow ourselves to be controlled by our marital statuses, emotions, possessions, or the world.

If we are to fully answer God’s call to be holy as He is holy, we must cease to be ruled by our emotions and seek, ask and knock in diligent pursuit of knowing God and His will in our lives. We are to be ruled by His righteousness and live to fulfill His will, not our own. If we foolishly continue to indulge ourselves in the luxury of self-government we jeopardize our relationship with God an run the risk of being unfruitful.

2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Righteous love” in one’s life is evidence of a contemplated surrender to God and His will. Since true love is governed by the authority of the Holy Scriptures, it is not easily swayed by human emotions, but still enjoys full emotional expression. This kind of holy love is conceived in our minds as a result of a personal conviction and revelation of God’s love for us, and birthed into being through the surrender of our hearts.

1Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Jesus reminds us that true love is undeniably evident by our obedience as we see in John and carries with it the promise of reward.

John 14:21 He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Mme shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.
24 He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings . . .

Just like faith and hope, righteous love is based upon and therefore governed by God’s word, for God has said, “Come now and let us reason [intellectually] together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye are willing and obedient [surrender in your hearts], ye will eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye will be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”

Absolutely, God commands us to love one another and for that love to be effective it must be within the confines of God’s will as revealed by His word. We must remember that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” and that faith “works by love,” (Ro. 10:17, Gal. 5:6). While we are to be longsuffering with immaturity, ignorance and other human frailties and limitations, we must not and cannot tolerate willful sin in ourselves or in each other. If one is overtaken by a fault, then those who are able to instruct must go and do so. If such a one defiantly rebels against God, he is to be rebuked. Should he repent of his wickedness, then let him be forgiven and embraced as a brother. If he doesn’t, he should be removed from the fellowship of believers for he has obstinately forfeited his fellowship with God, for what fellowship has light with darkness? None.

Nowadays, too many believers are being seduced into accepting a “feeling” as love. Because they found acceptance in a church social circle, they are deceived into believing a spirit of churchianity as true Christianity. Love is more than a feeling of warmth, such a feeling is often no more than emotional satisfaction. Since they “feel” good where they are, they are persuaded this is evidence of righteous love. Yet righteous love is maintains an uncompromising commitment to God, His precepts and His church. Remember it is not what we “feel” at a church that confirms truth, but what we hear, “For the word of God . . . is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Likewise, Mercy is too often presumed to be something it’s not. Mercy is a fruit of love, yet, like love for mercy to be effective and redemptive it too must be founded in the righteous judgments of God. People often mistake mercy to be a softness or tenderness exhibited toward someone, or they mistake longsuffering for mercy. These are actually compassion, kindness and gentleness. Mercy is not suffering the consequences of one’s sins which they truly deserve. It is the pardon for an offence which as been exposed, acknowledged, and repented of.

Before the mercy of a pardon can happen however, there needs to be a conviction of righteous judgment first. This too is where many mistake God’s judgment for His wrath, but these are two distinctly different events. God’s judgment is the accurate evaluation of one’s life in light of His righteousness. Should one be found contrary to God as revealed through His word and yet truly repent, pardon is then possible inasmuch as the law was satisfied by the shedding of Christ’s blood. But, when one is evaluated to be a transgressor and refuses to turn from his wicked deed, Jesus Christ re-dying again on ten thousand crosses would not save him, all he has to look forward to is wrath, or “judgment without mercy.”

One must acknowledge his transgressions for what they are with a true godly sorrow and by departing from his sin. The only time an immediate departure from sin may not be required is if it is due to ignorance as a direct result of natural (not willful) Christian immaturity. Therefore, the believer is instructed to diligently seek the will of God in their lives.

2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that [or why] he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

If we are to effectively love one another so as to minister to and build each other up, we must each devote ourselves to the knowing of both God and His word. We must never compromise our convictions of truth for the sake of church unity, yet we must never cease to labor in love for it. We must dig deep and seek the solid ground of truth, not common ground. While we are commanded to be both submitted and committed to each other in the fear of the Lord, we are not to be not loyal. Loyalty to a man will eventually result in a sinful compromise. We can not afford to “love” anyone, family or otherwise, so much that we unwittingly cast away our pearl of great price. Yes, we can and should suffer long with the frailties of each other and/or with the fallen condition of one seeking the truth, but not with a stubborn hypocrite. Effective and redemptive mercy always requires a surrender to the true evaluation of one’s condition by both the Spirit and Word of God.


“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6)

“He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.” (Proverbs 28:23)

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.”
(1 John 5:1,2)


A besetting sin…

Posted: June 19, 2020 in Shared Thoughts

Perhaps, the greatest hinderance to a Christian’s effectiveness as being true salt and light for God’s kingdom in this world stems from a carnally sympathetic and humanistic understanding of the emotions and troubles of the lost. When a believer fails to remain fearfully sided absolutely and wholeheartedly with God by maintaining a clear understanding of the righteous anger of God with the wicked every day, they lose sight of why God has commanded every man to repent and thus become useless to the Holy Spirit as a godly means of conviction to the wicked.

Apart from God, there is no good thing in any man, for God alone is good. Being separated from Christ, all men must recognize they are not merely sick and downtrodden, but are in truth dead, alienated from the life of God, and without any hope. Until the sinner comes to the absolute awareness and acknowledgement that they are wicked, and in a lost and desperate condition, they will never truly surrender or cry out for that grace and saving faith from He who alone can save them.

God intends Christians to be holy that they might be part of that convicting grace which works to cause the sinner to realize they alone are responsible for their woes, and that Jesus Christ and God alone their only hope.

Sympathetic understanding is a dangerous flaw in the heart and mind of a believer because it causes them to partially justify the wicked in their rebellion against God, and worse, it holds God partially accountable for the continuation of their life’s woes. When you sympathize with the sinner, you lose sight of the righteousness in the wrath of God and thus cease to be capable of righteous judgment and recognizing sin; as now you have in part become emotionally sided with the wicked and guilty of not completely accepting all the judgments of God as being righteous and true altogether.

We need to be ever perfecting holiness in the fear of God, which we will never do until we fearfully, absolutely and wholeheartedly, accept and stand unwavering with God’s word in its defining sin and His judgments of holding all accountable for their actions.

Awake unto righteousness and sin not, for some of you have not the knowledge of God; and I speak this to your shame.

The Cost

Posted: May 23, 2020 in Shared Thoughts

(Note: this is a chapter from John C Ryles’ book “Holiness”)

“Which of you, intending to build a house, does not sit down first and count the cost?” – Luke xiv. 28.

The text which heads this page is one of great importance. Few are the people who are not often obliged to ask themselves – “What does it cost?”

In buying property, in building houses, in furnishing rooms, in forming plans, in changing dwellings, in educating children, it is wise and prudent to look forward and consider. Many would save themselves much sorrow and trouble if they would only remember the question – “What does it cost?”

But there is one subject on which it is especially important to “count the cost.” That subject is the salvation of our souls. What does it cost to be a true Christian? What does it cost to be a really holy man? This, after all, is the grand question. For want of thought about this, thousands, after seeming to begin well, turn away from the road to heaven, and are lost forever in hell. Let me try to say a few words which may throw light on the subject.

I.     I will show, firstly, what it costs to be a true Christian.

II.   I will explain, secondly, why it is of such great importance to count the cost.

III.  I will give, in the last place, some hints which may help men to count the cost rightly.

We are living in strange times. Events are hurrying on with singular rapidity. We never know “what a day may bring forth”; how much less do we know what may happen in a year! – We live in a day of great religious profession. Scores of professing Christians in every part of the land are expressing a desire for more holiness and a higher degree of spiritual life. Yet nothing is more common than to see people receiving the Word with joy, and then after two or three years falling away, and going back to their sins. They had not considered “what it costs” to be a really consistent believer and holy Christian. Surely these are times when we ought often to sit down and “count the cost,” and to consider the state of our souls. We must mind what we are about. If we desire to be truly holy, it is a good sign. We may thank God for putting the desire into our hearts. But still the cost ought to be counted. No doubt Christ’s way to eternal life is a way of pleasantness. But it is folly to shut our eyes to the fact that His way is narrow, and the cross comes before the crown.

I. I have, first, to show what it costs to be a true Christian.

Let there be no mistake about my meaning. I am not examining what it costs to save a Christian’s soul. I know well that it costs nothing less than the blood of the Son of God to provide an atonement, and to redeem man from hell. The price paid for our redemption was nothing less than the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary. We “are bought with a price.” “Christ gave Himself a ransom for all.” (1 Corinthians vi. 20; 1 Timothy ii. 6.)

But all this is wide of the question. The point I want to consider is another one altogether. It is what a man must be ready to give up if he wishes to be saved. It is the amount of sacrifice a man must submit to if he intends to serve Christ. It is in this sense that I raise the question, “What does it cost?” And I believe firmly that it is a most important one.

I grant freely that it costs little to be a mere outward Christian. A man has only got to attend a place of worship twice on Sunday, and to be tolerably moral during the week, and he has gone as far as thousands around him ever go in religion. All this is cheap and easy work: it entails no self-denial or self-sacrifice. If this is saving Christianity, and will take us to heaven when we die, we must alter the description of the way of life, and write, “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to heaven!”

But it does cost something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are enemies to be overcome, battles to be fought, sacrifices to be made, an Egypt to be forsaken, a wilderness to be passed through, a cross to be carried, a race to be run. Conversion is not putting a man in an arm-chair and taking him easily to heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory. Hence arises the unspeakable importance of “counting the cost.”

Let me try to show precisely and particularly what it costs to be a true Christian. Let us suppose that a man is disposed to take service with Christ, and feels drawn and inclined to follow Him. Let us suppose that some affliction, or some sudden death, or an awakening sermon, has stirred his conscience, and made him feel the value of his soul and desire to be a true Christian. No doubt there is everything to encourage him. His sins may be freely forgiven, however many and great. His heart may be completely changed, however cold and hard. Christ and the Holy Spirit, mercy and grace, are all ready for him. But still he should count the cost. Let us see particularly, one by one, the things that his religion will cost him.

(1)         For one thing, it will cost him his self-righteousness. He must cast away all pride and high thoughts, and conceit of his own goodness. He must be content to go to heaven as a poor sinner saved only by free grace, and owing all to the merit and righteousness of another. He must really feel as well as say the Prayer-book words – that he has “erred and gone astray like a lost sheep,” that he has “left undone the things he ought to have done, and done the things he ought not to have done, and that there is no health in him.” He must be willing to give up all trust in his own morality, respectability, praying, Bible-reading, church-going, and sacrament-receiving, and to trust in nothing but Jesus Christ.

Now this sounds hard to some. I do not wonder. “Sir,” said a godly ploughman to the well-known James Hervey, of Weston Favell, “it is harder to deny proud self than sinful self. But it is absolutely necessary.” Let us set down this item first and foremost in our account. To be a true Christian it will cost a man his self-righteousness.

(2)         For another thing, it will cost a man his sins. He must be willing to give up every habit and practice which is wrong in God’s sight. He must set his face against it, quarrel with it, break off from it, fight with it, crucify it, and labor to keep it under, whatever the world around him may say or think. He must do this honestly and fairly. There must be no separate truce with any special sin which he loves. He must count all sins as his deadly enemies, and hate every false way. Whether little or great, whether open or secret, all his sins must be thoroughly renounced. They may struggle hard with him every day, and sometimes almost get the mastery over him. But he must never give way to them. He must keep up a perpetual war with his sins. It is written – “Cast away from you all your transgressions.” – “Break off thy sins and iniquities.” – “Cease to do evil.” – (Ezekiel xviii. 31; Daniel iv. 27; Isaiah i. 16.)

This also sounds hard. I do not wonder. Our sins are often as dear to us as our children: we love them, hug them, cleave to them, and delight in them. To part with them is as hard as cutting off a right hand, or plucking out a right eye. But it must be done. The parting must come. “Though wickedness be sweet in the sinner’s mouth, though he hides it under his tongue; though he spares it, and forsake it not,” yet it must be given up, if he wishes to be saved. (Job xx. 12, 13.) He and sin must quarrel, if he and God are to be friends. Christ is willing to receive any sinners. But He will not receive them if they will stick to their sins. Let us set down that item second in our account. To be a Christian it will cost a man his sins.

(3)         For another thing, it will cost a man his love of ease. He must take pains and trouble, if he means to run a successful race towards heaven. He must daily watch and stand on his guard, like a soldier on enemy’s ground. He must take heed to his behavior every hour of the day, in every company, and in every place, in public as well as in private, among strangers as well as at home. He must be careful over his time, his tongue, his temper, his thoughts, his imagination, his motives, his conduct in every relation of life. He must be diligent about his prayers, his Bible-reading, and his use of Sundays, with all their means of grace. In attending to these things, he may come far short of perfection; but there is none of them that he can safely neglect. “The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” (Proverbs xiii. 4.)

This also sounds hard. There is nothing we naturally dislike so much as “trouble” about our religion. We hate trouble. We secretly wish we could have a “vicarious” Christianity, and could be good by proxy, and have everything done for us. Anything that requires exertion and labor is entirely against the grain of our hearts. But the soul can have “no gains without pains.” Let us set down that item third in our account. To be a Christian it will cost a man his love of ease.

(4)         In the last place, it will cost a man the favor of the world. He must be content to be thought ill of by man if he pleases God. He must count it no strange thing to be mocked, ridiculed, slandered, persecuted, and even hated. He must not be surprised to find his opinions and practices in religion despised and held up to scorn. He must submit to be thought by many a fool, an enthusiast, and a fanatic – to have his words perverted and his actions misrepresented. In fact, he must not marvel if some call him mad. The Master says – “Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John xv. 20.)

I dare say this also sounds hard. We naturally dislike unjust dealing and false charges, and think it very hard to be accused without cause. We should not be flesh and blood if we did not wish to have the good opinion of our neighbors. It is always unpleasant to be spoken against, and forsaken, and lied about, and to stand alone. But there is no help for it. The cup which our Master drank must also be drunk by His disciples; they too must be “despised and rejected of men.” (Isaiah liii. 3.) Let us set down that item last in our account. To be a Christian it will cost a man the favor of the world.

Such is the account of what it costs to be a true Christian. I grant the list is a heavy one. But where is the item that could be removed? Bold indeed must that man be who would dare to say that we may keep our self-righteousness, our sins, our laziness, and our love of the world, and yet be saved!

I grant it costs much to be a true Christian. But who in his sound senses can doubt that it is worth any cost to have the soul saved? When the ship is in danger of sinking, the crew think nothing of casting overboard the precious cargo. When a limb is mortified, a man will submit to any severe operation, and even to amputation, to save life. Surely a Christian should be willing to give up anything which stands between him and heaven. A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing! A cheap Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown.

II. I have now, in the second place, to explain why “counting the cost” is of such great importance to man’s soul.

I might easily settle this question by laying down the principle, that no duty instructed by Christ can ever be neglected without damage. I might show how many shut their eyes throughout life to the nature of saving religion, and refuse to consider what it really costs to be a Christian. I might describe how at last, when life is ebbing away, they wake up, and make a few spasmodic efforts to turn to God. I might tell you how they find to their amazement that repentance and conversion are no such easy matters as they had supposed, and that it costs “a great sum” to be a true Christian. They discover that habits of pride and sinful indulgence, and love of ease, and worldliness, are not so easily laid aside as they had dreamed. And so, after a faint struggle, they give up in despair, and leave the world hopeless, graceless, and unfit to meet God! They had flattered themselves all their days that religion would be easy work when they once took it up seriously. But they open their eyes too late, and discover for the first time that they are ruined because they never “counted the cost.”

But there is one class of persons to whom especially I wish to address myself in handling this part of my subject. It is a large class – an increasing class – and a class which in these days is in peculiar danger. Let me in a few plain words try to describe this class. It deserves our best attention.

The persons I speak of are not thoughtless about religion: they think a good deal about it. They are not ignorant of religion: they know the outlines of it pretty well. But their great defect is that they are not “rooted and grounded” in their faith. Too often they have picked up their knowledge second hand, from being in religious families, or from being trained in religious ways, but have never worked it out by their own inward experience. Too often they have hastily taken up a profession of religion under the pressure of circumstances, from sentimental feelings, from animal excitement, or from a vague desire to do like others around them, but without any solid work of grace in their hearts. Persons like these are in a position of immense danger. They are precisely those, if Bible examples are worth anything, who need to be exhorted “to count the cost.”

For want of “counting the cost” myriads of the children of Israel perished miserably in the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan. They left Egypt full of zeal and fervor, as if nothing could stop them. But when they found dangers and difficulties in the way, their courage soon cooled down. They had never reckoned on trouble. They had thought the promised land would be all before them in a few days. And so, when enemies, privations, hunger, and thirst began to try them, they murmured against Moses and God, and would fain have gone back to Egypt. In a word, they had “not counted the cost,” and so lost everything, and died in their sins.

For want of “counting the cost,” many of our Lord Jesus Christ’s hearers went back after a time, and “walked no more with Him.” (John vi. 66.) When they first saw His miracles, and heard His preaching, they thought “the kingdom of God would immediately appear.” They cast in their lot with His Apostles, and followed Him without thinking of the consequences. But when they found that there were hard doctrines to be believed, and hard work to be done, and hard treatment to be borne, their faith gave way entirely, and proved to be nothing at all. In a word, they had not “counted the cost,” and so made shipwreck of their profession.

For want of “counting the cost,” King Herod returned to his old sins, and destroyed his soul. He liked to hear John the Baptist preach. He “observed” and honored him as a just and holy man. He even “did many things” which were right and good. But when he found that he must give up his darling Herodias, his religion entirely broke down. He had not reckoned on this. He had not “counted the cost.” (Mark vi. 20.)

For want of “counting the cost,” Demas forsook the company of St. Paul, forsook the Gospel, forsook Christ, forsook heaven. For a long time, he journeyed with the great Apostle of the Gentiles, and was actually a “fellow-laborer.” But when he found he could not have the friendship of this world as well as the friendship of God, he gave up his Christianity and clave to the world. “Demas hath forsaken me,” says St. Paul, “having loved this present world.” (2 Timothy iv. 10.) He had not “counted the cost.”

For want of “counting the cost,” the hearers of powerful Evangelical preachers often come to miserable ends. They are stirred and excited into professing what they have not really experienced. They receive the Word with a “joy” so extravagant that it almost startles old Christians. They run for a time with such zeal and fervor that they seem likely to outstrip all others. They talk and work for spiritual objects with such enthusiasm that they make older believers feel ashamed. But when the novelty and freshness of their feelings is gone, a change comes over them. They prove to have been nothing more than stony-ground hearers. The description the great Master gives in the Parable of the Sower is exactly exemplified. “Temptation or persecution arises because of the Word, and they are offended.” (Matthew xiii. 21.) Little by little their zeal melts away, and their love becomes cold. By and by their seats are empty in the assembly of God’s people, and they are heard of no more among Christians. And why? They had “never counted the cost.”

For want of “counting the cost,” hundreds of professed converts, under religious revivals, go back to the world after a time, and bring disgrace on religion. They begin with a sadly mistaken notion of what is true Christianity. They fancy it consists in nothing more than a so-called “coming to Christ,” and having strong inward feelings of joy and peace. And so, when they find, after a time, that there is a cross to be carried, that our hearts are deceitful, and that there is a busy devil always near us, they cool down in disgust, and return to their old sins. And why? Because they had really never known what Bible Christianity is. They had never learned that we must “count the cost.” [*9]

For want of “counting the cost,” the children of religious parents often turn out ill, and bring disgrace on Christianity. Familiar from their earliest years with the form and theory of the Gospel – taught even from infancy to repeat great leading texts – accustomed every week to be instructed in the Gospel, or to instruct others in Sunday schools – they often grow up professing a religion without knowing why, or without ever having thought seriously about it. And then when the realities of grown-up life begin to press upon them, they often astound every one by dropping all their religion, and plunging right into the world. And why? They had never thoroughly understood the sacrifices which Christianity entails. They had never been taught to “count the cost.”

These are solemn and painful truths. But they are truths. They all help to show the immense importance of the subject I am now considering. They all point out the absolute necessity of pressing the subject of this paper on all who profess a desire for holiness, and of crying aloud in all the churches – “Count the Cost.”

I am bold to say that it would be well if the duty of “counting the cost” were more frequently taught than it is. Impatient hurry is the order of the day with many religionists. Instantaneous conversions, and immediate sensible peace, are the only results they seem to care for from the Gospel. Compared with these all other things are thrown into the shade. To produce them is the grand end and object, apparently, of all their labors. I say without hesitation that such a naked, one-sided mode of teaching Christianity is mischievous in the extreme.

Let no one mistake my meaning. I thoroughly approve of offering men a full, free, present, immediate salvation in Christ Jesus. I thoroughly approve of urging on man the possibility and the duty of immediate instantaneous conversion. In these matters I give place to no one. But I do say that these truths ought not to be set before men nakedly, singly, and alone. They ought to be told honestly what it is they are taking up, if they profess a desire to come out from the world and serve Christ. They ought not to be pressed into the ranks of Christ’s army without being told what the warfare entails. In a word, they should be told honestly to “count the cost.”

Does any one ask what our Lord Jesus Christ’s practice was in this matter? Let him read what St. Luke records. He tells us that on a certain occasion “There went great multitudes with Him: and He turned and said unto them, If any come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.” (Luke xiv. 25-27.) I must plainly say, that I cannot reconcile this passage with the proceedings of many modern religious teachers. And yet, to my mind, the doctrine of it is as clear as the sun at noon-day. It shows us that we ought not to hurry men into professing discipleship, without warning them plainly to “count the cost.”

Does any one ask what the practice of the eminent and best preachers of the Gospel has been in days gone by? I am bold to say that they have all with one mouth borne testimony to the wisdom of our Lord’s dealing with the multitudes to which I have just referred. Luther, and Latimer, and Baxter, and Wesley, and Whitfield, and Berridge, and Rowland Hill, were all keenly alive to the deceitfulness of man’s heart. They knew full well that all is not gold that glitters, that conviction is not conversion, that feeling is not faith, that sentiment is not grace, that all blossoms do not come to fruit. “Be not deceived,” was their constant cry. “Consider well what you do. Do not run before you are called. Count the cost.”

If we desire to do good, let us never be ashamed of walking in the steps of our Lord Jesus Christ. Work hard if you will, and have the opportunity, for the souls of others. Press them to consider their ways. Compel them with holy violence to come in, to lay down their arms, and to yield themselves to God. Offer them salvation, ready, free, full, immediate salvation. Press Christ and all His benefits on their acceptance. But in all your work tell the truth, and the whole truth. Be ashamed to use the vulgar arts of a recruiting sergeant. Do not speak only of the uniform, the pay, and the glory; speak also of the enemies, the battle, the armor, the watching, the marching, and the drill. Do not present only one side of Christianity. Do not keep back “the cross” of self-denial that must be carried, when you speak of the cross on which Christ died for our redemption. Explain fully what Christianity entails. Entreat men to repent and come to Christ; but bid them at the same time to “count the cost.”

III. The third and last thing which I propose to do, is to give some hints which may help men to “count the cost” rightly.

Sorry indeed should I be if I did not say something on this branch of my subject. I have no wish to discourage any one, or to keep any one back from Christ’s service. It is my heart’s desire to encourage every one to go forward and take up the cross. Let us “count the cost” by all means, and count it carefully. But let us remember, that if we count rightly, and look on all sides, there is nothing that need make us afraid.

Let us mention some things which should always enter into our calculations in counting the cost of true Christianity. Set down honestly and fairly what you will have to give up and go through, if you become Christ’s disciple. Leave nothing out. Put it all down. But then set down side by side the following sums which I am going to give you. Do this fairly and correctly, and I am not afraid for the result.

(a)  Count up and compare, for one thing, the profit and the loss, if you are a true-hearted and holy Christian. You may possibly lose something in this world, but you will gain the salvation of your immortal soul. It is written – “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark viii. 36.)

(b)  Count up and compare, for another thing, the praise and the blame, if you are a true-hearted and holy Christian. You may possibly be blamed by man, but you will have the praise of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Your blame will come from the lips of a few erring, blind, fallible men and women. Your praise will come from the King of kings and Judge of all the earth. It is only those whom He blesses who are really blessed. It is written – “Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” (Matthew v. 11, 12.)

(c)  Count up and compare, for another thing, the friends and the enemies, if you are a true-hearted and holy Christian. On the one side of you is the enmity of the devil and the wicked. On the other, you have the favor and friendship of the Lord Jesus Christ. Your enemies, at most, can only bruise your heel. They may rage loudly, and compass sea and land to work your ruin; but they cannot destroy you. Your Friend is able to save to the uttermost all them that come unto God by Him. None shall ever pluck His sheep out of His hand. It is written – “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear Him.” (Luke xii. 5.)

(d)  Count up and compare, for another thing, the life that now is and the life to come, if you are a true-hearted and holy Christian. The time present, no doubt, is not a time of ease. It is a time of watching and praying, fighting and struggling, believing and working. But it is only for a few years. The time future is the season of rest and refreshing. Sin shall be cast out. Satan shall be bound. And, best of all, it shall be a rest for ever. It is written – “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians iv. 17, 18.)

(e)  Count up and compare, for another thing, the pleasures of sin and the happiness of God’s service, if you are a true-hearted and holy Christian, for the pleasures that the worldly man gets by his ways are hollow, unreal, and unsatisfying. They are like the fire of thorns, flashing and crackling for a few minutes, and then quenched forever. The happiness that Christ gives to His people is something solid, lasting, and substantial. It is not dependent on health or circumstances. It never leaves a man, even in death. It ends in a crown of glory that fadeth not away. It is written – “The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment.” – “As the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool.” (Job xx. 5; Eccl. vii. 6.) But it is also written – “Peace I leave with you, my peace give I unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John xiv. 27.)

(f)   Count up and compare, for another thing, the trouble that true Christianity entails, and the troubles that are in store for the wicked beyond the grave. Grant for a moment that Bible-reading, and praying, and repenting, and believing, and holy living, require pains and self-denial. It is all nothing compared to that “wrath to come” which is stored up for the impenitent and unbelieving. A single day in hell will be worse than a whole life spent in carrying the cross. The “worm that never dies, and the fire that is not quenched,” are things which it passes man’s power to conceive fully or describe. It is written – “Son, remember that thou in thy life-time received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and thou art tormented.” (Luke xvi. 25.)

(g)  Count up and compare, in the last place, the number of those who turn from sin and the world and serve Christ, and the number of those who forsake Christ and return to the world. On the one side you will find thousands – on the other you will find none. Multitudes are every year turning out of the broad way and entering the narrow. None who really enter the narrow way grow tired of it and return to the broad. The footsteps in the downward road are often to be seen turning out of it. The footsteps in the road to heaven are all one way. It is written – “The way of the wicked is darkness” – “The way of transgressors is hard.” (Proverbs iv. 19; xiii. 15.) But it is also written – “The path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs iv. 8.)

Such sums as these, no doubt, are often not done correctly. Not a few, I am well aware, are ever “halting between two opinions.” They cannot make up their minds that it is worthwhile to serve Christ. The losses and gains, the advantages and disadvantages, the sorrows and the joys, the helps and the hindrances with that faith we shall set things down at their true value. Filled with that faith we shall neither add to the cross nor subtract from the crown. Our conclusions will be all correct. Our sum total will be without error.

(1)  In conclusion, let every reader of this paper think seriously, whether his religion costs him anything at present. Very likely it costs you nothing. Very probably it neither costs you trouble, nor time, nor thought, nor care, nor pains, nor reading, nor praying, nor self-denial, nor conflict, nor working, nor labor of any kind. Now mark what I say. Such a religion as this will never save your soul. It will never give you peace while you live, nor hope while you die. It will not support you in the day of affliction, nor cheer you in the hour of death. A religion which costs nothing is worth nothing. Awake before it is too late. Awake and repent. Awake and be converted. Awake and believe. Awake and pray. Rest not till you can give a satisfactory answer to my question, “What does it cost?”

(2)  Think, if you want stirring motives for serving God, what it cost to provide a salvation for your soul.

Think how the Son of God left heaven and became Man, suffered on the cross, and lay in the grave, to pay your debt to God, and work out for you a complete redemption. Think of all this and learn that it is no light matter to possess an immortal soul. It is worthwhile to take some trouble about one’s soul.

Ah, lazy man or woman, is it really come to this, that you will miss heaven for lack of trouble? Are you really determined to make shipwreck forever, from mere dislike to exertion? Away with the cowardly, unworthy thought. Arise and play the man. Say to yourself, “Whatever it may cost, I will, at any rate, strive to enter in at the strait gate.” Look at the cross of Christ, and take fresh courage. Look forward to death, judgment, and eternity, and be in earnest. It may cost much to be a Christian, but you may be sure it pays.

(3)  If any reader of this paper really feels that he has counted the cost, and taken up the cross, I bid him persevere and press on. I dare say you often feel your heart faint, and are sorely tempted to give up in despair. Your enemies seem so many, your besetting sins so strong, your friends so few, the way so steep and narrow, you hardly know what to do. But still I say, persevere and press on.

The time is very short. A few more years of watching and praying, a few more tossings on the sea of this world, a few more deaths and changes, a few more winters and summers, and all will be over. We shall have fought our last battle, and shall need to fight no more.

The presence and company of Christ will make amends for all we suffer here below. When we see as we have been seen, and look back on the journey of life, we shall wonder at our own faintness of heart. We shall marvel that we made so much of our cross, and thought so little of our crown. We shall marvel that in “counting the cost” we could ever doubt on which side the balance of profit lay. Let us take courage. We are not far from home. It may cost much to be a true Christian and a consistent believer; but it pays.

[*9] I should be very sorry indeed if the language I have used above about revivals was misunderstood. To prevent this I will offer a few remarks by way of explanation. For true revivals of religion no one can be more deeply thankful than I am. Wherever they may take place, and by whatever agents they may be effected, I desire to bless God for them, with all my heart. “If Christ is preached,” I rejoice, whoever may be the preacher. If souls are saved, I rejoice, by whatever section of the Church the word of life has been ministered. But it is a melancholy fact that, in a world like this, you cannot have good without evil. I have no hesitation in saying, that one consequence of the revival movement has been the rise of a theological system which I feel obliged to call defective and mischievous in the extreme. The leading feature of the theological system I refer to, is this: an extravagant and disproportionate magnifying of three points in religion, – viz., instantaneous conversion – the invitation of unconverted sinners to come to Christ, – and the possession of inward joy and peace as a test of conversion. I repeat that these three grand truths (for truths they are) are so incessantly and exclusively brought forward, in some quarters, that great harm is done. Instantaneous conversion, no doubt, ought to be pressed on people. But surely they ought not to be led to suppose that there is no other sort of conversion, and that unless they are suddenly and powerfully converted to God, they are not converted at all. The duty of coming to Christ at once, “just as we are,” should be pressed on all hearers. It is the very corner-stone of Gospel preaching. But surely men ought to be told to repent as well as to believe. They should be told why they are to come to Christ, and what they are to come for, and whence their need arises. The nearness of peace and comfort in Christ should be proclaimed to men. But surely they should be taught that the possession of strong inward joys and high frames of mind is not essential to justification, and that there may be true faith and true peace without such very triumphant feelings. Joy alone is no certain evidence of grace. The defects of the theological system I have in view appear to me to be these: (1) The work of the Holy Ghost in converting sinners is far too much narrowed and confined to one single way. Not all true converts are converted instantaneously, like Saul and the Philippian jailor. (2) Sinners are not sufficiently instructed about the holiness of God’s law, the depth of their sinfulness, and the real guilt of sin. To be incessantly telling a sinner to “come to Christ” is of little use, unless you tell him why he needs to come, and show him fully his sins. (3) Faith is not properly explained. In some cases people are taught that mere feeling is faith. In others they are taught that if they believe that Christ died for sinners they have faith! At this rate the very devils are believers! (4) The possession of inward joy and assurance is made essential to believing. Yet assurance is certainly not of the essence of saving faith. There may be faith when there is no assurance. To insist on all believers at once “rejoicing,” as soon as they believe, is most unsafe. Some, I am quite sure, will rejoice without believing, while others will believe who cannot at once rejoice. (5) Last, but not least, the sovereignty of God in saving sinners, and the absolute necessity of preventing grace, are far too much overlooked. Many talk as if conversions could be manufactured at man’s pleasure, and as if there were no such text as this, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” (Romans ix. 16.) The mischief done by the theological system I refer to is, I am persuaded, very great. On the one hand, many humble-minded Christians are totally discouraged and daunted. They fancy they have no grace because they cannot reach up to the high frames and feelings which are pressed on their attention. On the other side, many graceless people are deluded into thinking they are “converted,” because under the pressure or animal excitement and temporary feelings they arc led to profess themselves Christians. And all this time the thoughtless and ungodly look on with contempt, and rind fresh reasons for neglecting religion altogether. The antidotes to the state of things I deplore are plain and few. (1) Let “all the counsel of God be taught” in Scriptural proportion; and let not two or three precious doctrines of the Gospel be allowed to overshadow all other truths. (2) Let repentance be taught fully as well as faith, and not thrust completely into the background. Our Lord Jesus Christ and St. Paul always taught both. (3) Let the variety of the Holy Ghost’s works be honestly stated and admitted; and while instantaneous conversion is pressed on men, let it not be taught as a necessity. (4) Let those who profess to have found immediate sensible peace be plainly warned to try themselves well, and to remember that feeling is not faith, and that “patient continuance in well-doing” is the great proof that faith is true. (John viii. 31.) (5) Let the great duty of “counting the cost” be constantly urged on all who are disposed to make a religious profession, and let them be honestly and fairly told that there is warfare as well as peace, a cross as well as a crown, in Christ’s service. I am sure that unhealthy excitement is above all things to be dreaded in religion, because it often ends in fatal, soul-ruining reaction and utter deadness. And when multitudes are suddenly brought under the power of religious impressions, unhealthy excitement is almost sure to follow. I have not much faith in the soundness of conversions when they are said to take places in masses and wholesale. It does not seem to me in harmony with God’s general dealings in this dispensation. To my eyes it appears that God’s ordinary plan is to call in individuals one by one. Therefore, when I hear of large numbers being suddenly converted all at one time, I hear of it with less hope than some. The healthiest and most enduring success in mission fields is certainly not where natives have come over to Christianity in a mass. The most satisfactory and firmest work at home does not always appear to me to be the work done in revivals. There are two passages of Scripture which I should like to have frequently and fully expounded in the present day by all who preach the Gospel, and specially by those who have anything to do with revivals. One passage is the parable of the sower, that parable is not recorded three times over without good reason and a deep meaning. – The other passage is our Lord’s teaching about “counting the cost,” and the words which He spoke to the “great multitudes” whom He saw following Him. It is very noteworthy that He did not on that occasion say anything to flatter these volunteers or encourage them to follow Him. No: He saw what their case needed. He told them to stand still and “count the cost.” (Luke xiv. 25, etc.) I am not sure that some modern preachers would have adopted this course of treatment.

More than forgiven…

Posted: May 8, 2020 in Shared Thoughts

People need to understand that Jesus did not die merely to forgive them their sins; He died and rose again in order to save them from their sins. Otherwise, it would be little more than forgiving someone for crimes committed out of ignorance or poverty, yet allowing them to stay in jail. Nor does saving them from their sins only mean they receive a “get out of jail free card.” No, He saves people from their ignorance and corrupt nature, which causes them to sin, in an endeavor to make them partakers of His very own divine nature.

Jesus came, died, rose again, and is willing to send His spirit to all that ask, that He might restore any and all to the very essence God originally intended for them to be, holy, temples suitable for His own Spirit to dwell with in. He faithfully guides and enables His followers to be more than mere animals that live only mindful of the appetites of their lowly fleshly bodies; for He causes them to become spiritually alive by placing His own Spirit with in them. He “saves us from our sins” because He BOTH forgives AND leads them out of their prisons and into the glorious liberty of His light and truth and into communion with Himself.

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. For the carnal mind is constantly at war against God; because it is not subject to the law of God, nor can it be. Such is why they who think and live and focus only in the flesh cannot please God. But, if you have truly been “saved,” you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; if in truth the Spirit of God dwells in you. For if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

This truth is as obvious to the true believer in Jesus Christ as is a developing fetus in the womb of a pregnant woman. There is no doubt in her mind something is radically different and new in her body and life, because the evidence of a conception of life continues to grow daily in her.

Is this new life of Christ so growing in you?

If so, then continue to faithfully purify your souls in the obedience of the truth, through the Spirit of Christ within you, unto an unfeigned love of the brothers. We must love one another fervently out of a pure heart, for we have been born again, not mere semen, but by an incorruptible seed, through the living Word of God in us; which abides true and faithful forever.

See Romans 8:6-9 and 1st Peter 1:22, 23